The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy produced a net zero new jobs in August, a figure that was heavily influenced by striking Verizon employees who have since returned to work, however, there were substantial downward revisions to prior payrolls data, all of which indicates that the U.S. labor market remains quite troubled.
The jobless rate held steady at 9.1 percent and the official tally of unemployed workers was virtually unchanged at 14 million. The broad U6 measure of underemployment – including those who have given up looking for work and who are working part-time for economic reasons – rose from 16.1 percent to 16.2 percent.
The number of long-term unemployed – those going without work for 27 weeks or more – was unchanged at 6.0 million and they accounted for a stunning 42.9 percent of the unemployed while the civilian labor force participation rate was steady at 64.0 percent.
By category, it was the usual story of the health care sector continuing to create new jobs, up 36,000 last month, while the professional & business services category saw broad-based, albeit modest, gains of 28,000.
Employment in the information industry fell by 48,000 in August, an estimated 45,000 of this total being Verizon workers who were on strike during the survey period and off of the company’s payroll. Government employment also fell, down 17,000 despite the return of 22,000 workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota. Local government payrolls were down 20,000 and are now 550,000 lower than three years ago.
Perhaps the most important information in this release was that prior payroll data was revised downward, the June total dropping from +46,000 to +20,000 and the July figure falling from 117,000 to 85,000 for a total adjustment of -58,000. Over the last three months, payrolls have grown at an anemic rate of just 35,000.
From The Labor Market Gets a Goose Egg | The Mess That Greenspan Made.
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