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Saturday, September 3, 2016

August 2016 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The August 2016 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning, September 2.  It showed steady though unspectacular jobs and employment growth.

August 2016 Highlights:   





  • The economy added 
    151,000 jobs, an average number of new jobs, and the unemployment rate was stable at 
    4.9%.
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month.  Since the beginning of the year, job gains have averaged 182,000 per month.
  • The number of employed people went up by 97,000. The number of unemployed people went up by 79,000 as 176,000 people joined the labor force, meaning that they started working or started looking for work. That is a NET number.
  • 409,000 MORE people are working full-time and 388,000 FEWER  people are working part-time in August.
  • There are 2.6 million MORE people working than a year ago, with 2.3 million MORE people working full-time and about 250,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago.  There are about 700,000 MORE people working part-time VOLUNTARILY than a year ago and about 430,000 FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY than a year ago.
  • There were 126,000 MORE private sector jobs, and 25,000 MORE government jobs in August.  
  • The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) has been stable at 9.7% this month and it has averaged 9.7% during the year of 2016.  This is down0.6% from a year ago.
  • Government jobs include jobs at the federal, state, and local levels, including public school teachers.  It does not include military jobs, though it does include civilian Defense workers who are employed directly by the government.  Local government accounted for 24,000 of the 25,000 increase in government jobs.
  • Employment in mining, construction, and durable goods manufacturing was down slightly in August, with employment in service sectors, including retail trade, transportation, financial activities, professional services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality all showing moderate increases.
  • Year-to-date in 2016, 1,630,000 people (net) have entered the labor force with 1,685,000 more people employed, and 1,698,000 MORE people employed full-time.  That means that people are entering the labor market AND finding full-time jobs. 
  • The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.42% and 63.02%.  It was 62.82%in August.
  • Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.

From the BLS report: 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down from +292,000 to +271,000, and the change for July was revised up from +255,000 to +275,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 1,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month. 
(For the record, 8 years ago, in August 2008, we lost 266,000 jobs as the country continued its slide into the worst recession in 80 years.)


August 2016 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for August" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.)

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks.  Please check back!

Expectations and the ADP Report:


The pundits were expecting job growth in the vicinity of 180,000 new jobs.  The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, August 31st, showed an increase of 177,000 private sector jobs.  Over time, the numbers in the ADP report tend to follow those in the BLS government report very closely.  In the ADP report, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said:  
The American job machine continues to hum along. Job creation remains strong, with most industries and companies of all sizes adding solidly to their payrolls. The U.S. economy will soon be at full employment.

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