Unemployment Still Heads Toward Double-Digits

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The unemployment and change in non-farm payrolls data for August is out, and despite some positive trends seen during the weekly data it just isn’t pretty.  The change in nonfarm payrolls was -216,000 versus somewhere around -220,000 to -230,000 expected.  But the real jump came in the official unemployment rate to 9.7% from a July original report of 9.4%.   Economists were looking for 9.5% to 9.6%.

But then came the revisions and July was worse than what the Labor Department originally reported in July.  That figure was revised from -247,000 jobs originally reported to -276,000 jobs.  The by-sector report offers no huge hope out there.

  • Manufacturing -63,000.
  • Construction -65,000.
  • Services -80,000.

There was a gain in healthcare and education, but even government jobs fell: education and healthcare rose by +52,000 and the government was -18,000 jobs.

At least we aren’t seeing official reports of -400,000 or -500,000 any longer.  We won’t keep harping on the unofficial unemployment being well above 15% when you count the underemployed, the contract, and the new part-timers.