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Friday, September 7, 2012

A Look At the August Job Numbers From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Here are the numbers from the August BLS jobs report:

Non-farm payroll employment rose by 96,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate fell .2% to 8.1%.

Employment increased in the following sectors:
  • Food services
  • Drinking places
  • Professional and technical services
  • Health care
The number of unemployed Americans is 12,500,000.

Unemployment rates among major worker groups:
  • Adult men: 7.6%
  • Adult women: 7.3%
  • Teenagers: 24.6%
  • Whites: 7.2%
  • Blacks: 14.1%
  • Hispanics: 10.2%
  • Asians: 5.9%
Number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more): 5,000,000 (unchanged). Long-term unemployed account for 40% of all unemployed persons.

The civilian work force (158,000,000) and labor force participation rate (63.5%) declined in August, (hence the drop in the overall unemployment rate).

The number of involuntary part-time workers (employed part-time for economic reasons) remained steady at 8,000,000.

The number of workers marginally attached to the workforce (defined as individuals not in the workforce but who were available for, and ready to, work) remained steady at 2,600,000. These people were not counted as unemployed because they had not looked for work in the past four weeks. This is broken down as follows:
  • 844,000 discouraged workers (defined as those workers who have given up looking for work because they feel there is no job available to them)
  • The remaining 1,700,000 did not look for work because of other reasons
The 96,000 net job increase reflects a monthly trend in 2012 of 139,000 jobs added per month compared to 2011 where there were 153,000 jobs added per month. This is a net 10% drop in the number of jobs added monthly from 2011.

Detailed by sector:
  • Food services and drinking places: +27,000
  • Computer systems design and related services: +11,000
  • Management and technical consulting services: +9,000
  • Healthcare employment: +27,000
From June to August, job growth in health care averaged 15,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 28,000 in the prior 12 months, a 47% net drop.
  • Financial activities, insurance and finance: +11,000
  • Utilities: +9,000 which reflects the return of workers who were off payrolls in July due to a labor-management dispute.
  • Ambulatory health care: +14,000
  • Hospitals: +6,000
  • Manufacturing: -15,000
  • Motor vehicles and parts: -8,000
The average work week for all private, non-farm employees remained steady at 34.4 hours / week.
  • Manufacturing workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours
  • Factory overtime remained steady at 3.2 hours / week
  • Production and non-supervisory remained steady at 33.7 hours / week
Average hourly earnings declined by $0.01 to $23.52 / hour.

Over the past 12 months average pay had risen 1.7%; August was the first decline in overall payrates in the past 12 months.

The change in overall non-farm employment for June was revised from +64,000 to +45,000 (-30%).
The change in overall non-farm employment for July was revised from 163,000 to 141,000 (-14%).

No spin. No politics. Those are the numbers.

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