Stagnate. That is the best way to summarize August’s employment data released this morning:
Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.
The number of jobs created in the last two months were revised downward. Economists had expected job growth of 80,000 in August.
The news on involuntary underemployed was even worse. The total number of workers part-time for economic reasons, the number of workers part-time because of slack work and the number of workers who could only find part-time work all increased. The increase in slack work is especially worrisome as it indicates a fall off in production in August.