UGLY JOBS REPORT: 131,000 Lost In July, Stocks Heading Lower

The results:

The headline loss of 131K is worse than expected. (Analysts were looking for about a loss of 87K)

The gain of 71K private sector jobs is pretty mediocre. (Definitely at the light end.)

Past revisions are not good either.

Stocks turning lower. The Dow is off 50.

The full announcement is here

A few more key numbers:

  • So-called “real” unemployment held steady at 16.5%.
  • The average hourly work week actually ticked up a little, from 34.1 to 34.2.
  • Average weekly earnings went from $768.96 to $772.

For more background, see this graphic guide to the ugly state of the labour market >


Background: In terms of importance, this report needs no introduction or explanation, so…

The headline is expected to be a loss of around 87K jobs due to census firing. However on the private sector side — and this is what matters — job creation is expected to be around 83K, though we’ve seen a range from +50k to +150K.

The unemployment rate — which hardly matters because of how it accounts for workers leaving the work force — is expected to hit 9.6%.

Then, once you digest the main numbers look for changes in the work week and hourly wages, and then start to think about the Fed meeting next week, and whether the number is bad enough to make it clear that more easing is on the horizon.

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