HUGE MISS ON US JOBS REPORT

The August jobs report was a big miss, but not all the data was bad.

Nonfarm payrolls grew by 142,000 in August, missing expectations for 230,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.1% from 6.2%, according to the latest release from the BLS, and this was in-line with expectations.

Following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics said, “In one line: Noise happens, and this looks like noise. No other data signal slowing labour demand.”

Wage growth was also in-line with expectations, as wages grew 2.1% year-over-year, and 0.2% month-over-month.

The average number of weekly hours worked held steady at 34.5 hours.

The labour force participation rate also slipped slightly, falling to 62.8% from 62.9% last month.

The “U-6” unemployment rate, which includes those marginally attached to the labour force or those employed part time for economic reasons, fell to 12% from 12.2% in July.

Here were Wall Street’s expectations:

  • Nonfarm payrolls: +230,000
  • Unemployment rate: 6.1%
  • Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: +0.2%
  • Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: +2.1%
  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.5

The July jobs report was also revised up slightly, to 212,000 from 209,000, while June’s report was revised down to 267,000 from 298,000.

These charts from the Federal Reserve show the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls, which gained less than expected in August, and the unemployment rate, which declined in-line with expectations.

And this chart from the Federal Reserve shows the “U-6” unemployment rate, which includes unemployed workers as well as those marginally attached to the workforce and workers employed part-time for economic reasons, or basically people who want full-time work but have to settle for part-time work instead. In August, the “U-6” rate fell to 12% from 12.2% in July.

This chart from Bloomberg economist Michael McDonough shows the 12-month moving average of labour force participation for various age cohorts, with participation among younger workers still trending slightly lower.

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