August jobs creation, which failed to meet economist forecasts of 180,000, could delay the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its stimulus program expected later this month.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 4-1/2-year low in August as the economy created a less than expected 169,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The unemployment rate dipped to 7.3 percent, which analysts attribute in part to discouraged job-seekers giving up their job search. This, combined with lackluster job creation, which failed to meet economist forecasts of 180,000, could delay the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its stimulus program expected later this month. The Labor Department also revised downward the job count for June and July by74,000.
There were 11.3 million unemployed persons in August. The unemployment rate for African-Americans (13 percent), adult men (7.1 percent), adult women (6.3 percent), whites (6.4 percent), teenagers (22.7 percent) and Hispanics (9.3 percent) was little changed last month.
The labor participation rate—the ratio of those actively employed or looking for work to the overall eligible population—dipped in August from 63.4 percent to 63.2 percent. The employment-population rate of 58.6 percent.
In August, the number of those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more was 4.3 million, up from 4.2 million in July. These “long-term unemployed” accounted for 37.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 733,000.
The number of “involuntary part-time workers,” persons who were employed part-time because their hours had been scaled back or because they were unable to find a full-time job, declined by 334,000 to 7.9 million.
In August, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the workforce, meaning they were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. This is down by 219,000 from a year earlier. These individuals are not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks prior to the survey.
Among these individuals, there were 866,000 “discouraged workers.” These individuals are not currently looking for work because they believe there are no jobs available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work in the four weeks prior to the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities, the Labor Department said.
The retail industry added 44,000 jobs for a total of 393,000 jobs added over the past 12 months. Health care added 33,000 jobs last month), while professional and business services added 23,000 jobs. This industry has added 614,000 jobs in the last year. Leisure and hospitality added 21,000 jobs in August. Over the past year, food services and drinking establishments have added 354,000 jobs.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.