Friday, September 01, 2006

August Employment Report

by Calculated Risk on 9/01/2006 09:09:00 AM

The BLS reports: U.S. nonfarm payrolls climbed by 128,000 in August, after a revised 121,000 gain in July, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.7% in August from 4.8% in July.

Click on graph for larger image.

Here is the cumulative nonfarm job growth for Bush's 2nd term. The gray area represents the expected job growth (from 6 million to 10 million jobs over the four year term). Job growth is about in the middle of the expected range.

The following two graphs are the areas I've been watching closely: residential construction and retail employment.

Residential construction employment increased by 4,400 jobs in July and is down about 1% from the peak in February. This is a little surprising given the weakness in the housing market.

Note the scale doesn't start from zero: this is to better show the change in employment.

Retail employment declined 13,500 jobs in August. The YoY change in retail employment is now -0.7%.

The YoY decrease in retail employment is concerning: see Retail Employment

The biggest surprise is the small gain in residential construction employment.