August Jobs Report Shoots, Misses


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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The U.S. economy experienced moderate growth in August, as employers added 151,000 new jobs to the economy.

The Labor Department released its monthly jobs report Friday morning, and the new numbers were lower than expected. Economic forecasters predicted 180,000 new jobs would be added in August, but the reported figure was 151,000.

The lower-than-expected growth may have an impact on whether or not the Federal Reserve raises the interest rate. Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen previously suggested the Federal Reserve would raise the interest rate, citing gains in the jobs market and a positive economic outlook. The low figure for August may keep the Fed from acting this year.

While the August numbers were lower than expected, the Bureau of Labor statistics revised its June and July figures, updating the numbers to be higher than first reported. The economy added over 270,000 new jobs both in June and July.

The economy experienced a 1 percent annualized growth rate in the first half of the year, but the strong summer numbers from June and July left open the real possibility that the Fed would raise the interest rate this fall — something that will be re-examined following this latest report.

The unemployment rate remains at 4.9 percent for the third straight month, and the number of unemployed persons is approximately 7.8 million. The number of long-term unemployed persons also remains unchanged from the previous month at 2 million, a number that makes up about 26.1 percent of total unemployment.

The labor force participation rate also changed little compared to the previous month. Social services added 22,000 jobs, with a majority of the growth specific to individual and family services. The mining industry lost another 4,000 jobs in August, which makes for a total of 224,000 jobs lost in the coal industry since peak employment figures in September 2014.

The new numbers may provide positive talking points for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as she appeals to working class families across the rust-belt and the Midwest.

Republican nominee Donald Trump released a statement following the lower-than-expected numbers and said, “The August jobs report shows the stagnant Clinton-Obama economy fails to deliver the jobs Americans desperately need.”

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