August Labor Report Shows 315,000 Job Gains, Internal Data a Much Bigger Concern


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 2, 2022

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) released the August Jobs Report [DATA HERE].

The topline is a net gain of 315,000 jobs with an increase in unemployment to 3.7%.  However, the June and July jobs reports were revised down by 107,000 lower than previously reported, and if you look carefully at the data, you can see a serious problem.

Keep in mind, in the background is a release yesterday showing productivity within the economy dropping in the second quarter by 4.1%. [DATA]  Combine the drop in productivity with higher wages of 5.7% and total wage costs per unit of business output are up 10.1%.  Now we turn back to today’s employment release, and look at these three points of data:

(1) Unemployment for adult men and unemployment for Latinos increased in August.  Adult men and specifically adult Latino men are losing their jobs. (2) The average number of hours worked in August dropped 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. (3) Total employment amid those aged 16 to 19-years of age increased by 363, 000 in August:

The graphic is modified Table A-1 to focus on ‘age’

 •Total economic productivity drops [biggest quarterly drop since 1948].  •Men and Latinos are losing jobs.  •Average hours worked drops.  •Teenage employment increases. What do these four facts tell you?

A total of 363,000 more teenagers started working in August, yet the total net gain in employment overall was 315,000 jobs.   That should be the headline of the August 2022 jobs report.

(CNBC) […] The unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than expectations, largely due to a gain in the labor force participation rate to 62.4%, tied for the highest level of the year. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons climbed to 7% from 6.7%.

Wages continued to rise, though slightly less than expectations. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% for the month and 5.2% from a year ago, both 0.1 percentage point below estimates. (more)

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