142,000 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in August

August 2014 Unemployment Rate - 6.1% - Illustration - Graphic - CalendarThe Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor released the "Employment Situation Summary" for the month of August earlier today.

The United States added 142,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in the month of August, far lower than what the majority of brokerages and economists had been projecting. Most had the US economy adding 200k jobs on the low end in August, while some were projecting all the way up to +250,000. The market didn't like the number, gapping down on the news, only to close the day in the green (what's new?).

The national unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in August, down slightly from the month before (6.2%).


The drop in the unemployment rate can be explained by 80,000 leaving the ranks of the "unemployed". The problem? The number of people "not in the labor force" (meaning, not officially employed or unemployed) rose 268,000 to 92,269,000 in August, which is an all-time record.

In addition, the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people in the civilian labor force vs the total civilian noninstitutional population, hit another multi-decade low.

In short - this report was another example of how the numbers (the unemployment rate, in this case) can portray a much different story than the one that is actually being told.


Note: August's unemployment numbers will be updated on our pages this weekend.

Source: BLS.gov

Filed under: General Knowledge

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