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Friday, September 07, 2012

August Employment Report: 96,000 Jobs, 8.1% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 9/07/2012 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.
Both the civilian labor force (154.6 million) and the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August. The employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, was little changed.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +64,000 to +45,000, and the change for July was revised from +163,000 to +141,000.
Payroll jobs added per month Click on graph for larger image.

This was another weak month, especially with the downward revisions to the June and July reports.

This was below expectations of 125,000 payroll jobs added.

The second graph shows the employment population ratio, the participation rate, and the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate decreased to 8.1% (red line).

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe Labor Force Participation Rate declined to 63.5% in August (blue line)- another new cycle low. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.

The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although most of the recent decline is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio declined to 58.3% in August (black line). This is a new low for the year, and just above the cycle low.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The third graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.

This was another weak report. (expected was 125,000). I'll have much more later ...