Friday, September 7, 2012

Weak jobs report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. added a piddling 96,000 non-farm payroll jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate slipped down from 8.3 to 8.1 percent, but the decline was entirely an artifact of U.S. adults leaving the labor force. Compounding the disappointment, job growth numbers from June and July were also revised downwards. Average hourly and weekly earnings for those who were employed also fell.

A line from the second page of the report tells you most of what you need to know. "Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 139,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of
153,000 in 2011." The U.S. needs to add about 150,000 jobs per month to keep up with the growth of the adult population.

Last year we were treading water; this year we are slowly sinking.