Jeff Smith noon, March 8
U.S. Jobs Report Weak, but Better Than Expected
U.S. nonfarm payrolls dropped 54,000 in August as the unemployment rate rose to 9.6% from 9.5% in July. This was fueled by more people entering the job force looking for jobs. The jobs loss was about half what economists had expected; thus, stocks soared early in the day, continuing their rally of the last few days. There were 121,000 government jobs lost, including 114,000 temporary Census workers. The private sector added 67,000 jobs. This was a surprise, because earlier in the week, the ADP National Employment Report showed a loss of 10,000 private sector jobs. In the federal report, temporary and healthcare jobs rose impressively. However, manufacturing jobs were down 27,000 and state and local governments shed 10,000 positions. The birth/death adjustment model, a purely statistical estimate of new jobs not counted in the regular process, rose 72,000.