Friday, September 04, 2009

The Unemployment Rate Goes to 9.7% and Payrolls Drop "Only" 216,000

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on the August employment situation this morning.

The Nation

The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August from 9.4 percent in July and 9.5 percent in June.  The size of the labor force still reflects the upsurge we saw at the beginning of the summer.  The month to month variation in th employment rate mostly reflects the sampling variation in the proportion of respondents who say they have jobs.

Non-farm payrolls fell by 216,000 in August.

April Is the Cruelest Month

The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of households shows a drop of 1,351,000 employed since April, while the payroll survey shows a fall of 1,258,000 jobs.  The good news is that new unemployment claims peaked in April.  Historically this has been a reliable indicator of a recession's end.


Although BLS did not report job losses for the aerospace industry, transportation equipment other than autos and auto parts fell by another twelve hundred for a total loss of 17,100 since April.