Friday, September 6, 2013

Employment Update: August 2013

On the face of it, we gained 169,000 new jobs in August 2013—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics press release today (link). But the BLS also revised results for both June and July—downward. I am presenting those revisions graphically, just for once, so that their impact may be more viscerally felt. Now if you add the revisions, 16,000 jobs fewer than earlier reported for June and 74,000 fewer than reported for July, the net effect is a loss from totals reported for that period of 90,000 jobs. Therefore August gains, netted out, are only 79,000—which is quite another story. The usual graphic, showing the total picture, follows here:


This year I have been annualizing monthly returns—thus projecting trends, up to the present, out to the entire year. This means totaling monthly gains and dividing that sum by the number of month and multiplying the average by 12. That picture follows.


Note that, as of August, the year 2013 is projected to perform worse than 2012 did—but still better than 2011.

Looking at sectors, Construction and Other Services neither lost nor gained any jobs. Two sectors lost jobs: Information (read communications) and Finance. Retail Trade produced the largest sectoral gain (44,000 jobs) followed by Health Care and Social Assistance (38,000).

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