August employment

While not as bad as economist had expected (see WSJ and NYT estimates), the BLS data on employment released this morning shows a stagnate labor market:

The number of unemployed persons (14.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.6 percent) were little changed in August. From May through August, the jobless rate remained in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 percent.

In part, this may be function of more people looking for a job, as the labor force increased. The number of voluntary part time workers (see chart below).
However, as the chart below shows, both the number of involuntary underemployed (part-time for economic reasons) and the number of workers involuntarily underemployed because of slack work increased in July. The increase in slack work is especially of concern as it indicates a slight slowdown in production.
Involuntaryunderemployed-0810.gif
Voluntaryparttime-0810.gif

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