Employment Report: 169k, SUCKS

Depression Unemployment Jobs

Sorry folks, this one is bad:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in retail trade and health care but declined in information.

Santelli said “when you see the market rally on crappy data….” — indeed.

Let’s look at the household data, because the establishment data was heavily revised — negative — from the last two months (gee, you think?)

However, let’s look at one thing in the establishment survey that’s positive — hours and wages — up 0.4% and 0.6% on the month, respectively.  Assuming that actually holds up it’s positive.

Meh.  Note carefully the monthly number — it’s negative.  In fact, it’s quite negative:

Specifically, 604,000 fewer people were employed this month .vs. last on the household survey.  There has been a lot of question as to how Gallup can have such a wild disparity between itself and the BLS numbers — well, between the revisions in this report and that number off the household survey do you still wonder?

In addition the “not in labor force” number skyrocketed this month:

Now granted, this number has a lot of noise in it but the annual rate of change (red line) is, as you can see, not much different.  Yet.  But 1.43 million people left the workforce this month.  If that’s more than noise and turns into a trend….

Right on schedule the employment participation rate turned back downward — exactly as I expected.  So much for a trend change there.  There has been no factual improvement in the employment situation at all as measured by the only metric that actually matters — the percentage of the population of working age that actually has a job.

And finally, the “big picture” in one chart is here:

Annualized, and adjusted for population change, we’re still losing ground.

This report sucks.

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