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Friday, September 6, 2013

The August 2013 Jobs Report

Here is the August 2013 employment situation report from the BLS:

Key Highlights:

- The unemployment rate fell to 7.3%. Non-farm employers added 169,000 new jobs.

- The number of unemployed persons decreased from 11.5 million in July to 11.3 million in August.

- The civilian labor force participation rate decreased slightly from 63.4% in July to 63.2% in August. This is a sharp increase, and the chief contributor to the unemployment rate's decrease even with only 169k jobs created. It is also the lowest rate for civilian labor force participation since August, 1978.

- The "not in labor force" count (those who have no job and have stopped looking for work) increased from 89,957,000 in July to 90,473,000... an increase of 516,000.

- The civilian labor force dropped from 155,798,000 to 155,486,000, which is a massive drop of 312,000.

- The number of persons employed for part-time economic reasons (those that are considered part-time involuntary workers) fell from 8,200,000 in July to 7,900,000 in August.

- Average hourly earnings decreased by 5 cents. The 12-month average for hourly earnings have risen at a 2.2% yearly rate.

- June's jobs created numbers were revised downward from 188,000 to 172,000, while July's jobs created numbers were revised downward from 162,000 to 104,000. This is a total shortage of 74,000 jobs relative to what was reported.

My quick take:

And this is going to be quick:

"Oh my!" This is bad. What positive notion can one take from these numbers? If the only plus side to these numbers is, "well, at least they didn't decline..." this is a bad jobs report. The unemployment rate when down, sure, but that's solely because people simply gave up for work... which is a trend we've seen under President Obama. Additionally, and this is truly sad, the jobs numbers for the previous two months were revised downward, with July's numbers coming in at a measly 104,000 jobs added. This is below the number needed to simply keep up with population growth.

All in all, this is about as bad as it gets for a jobs report that still has some job growth in it. I'm dying to hear the media's spin.