By: Russ Swansen, Chief Investment Officer, Thrivent Asset Management September 07, 2016
U.S. employers added 151,000 new non-farm employees in August, according to the latest U.S. Department of Labor employment report issued September 2. The August new job result fall well below the more than 270,000 jobs created in each of the two previous months.
(The number of new jobs for June was revised down from 292,000 to 271,000, while the number of new jobs for July was revised up from 255,000 to 275,000.)
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9%, with a total of approximately 7.8 million unemployed persons currently looking for work.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) also remained at the same level – approximately 2.0 million Americans – which accounted for 26.1% of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate also stayed the same at 62.8%.
The report also noted several other employment trends:
- The average workweek declined by 0.1 hours to 34.3 hours.
- Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $25.73. Year over year, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.4%.
- Initial unemployment claims, a leading indicator, continue to remain at a historically low level.
While the Federal Reserve is expected to consider approving a rate hike when it meets September 20-21, the slower job growth may discourage the board from raising rates. (See “Where’s that Fed Hike?”) A weak retail report in August, as well as weakness in several other areas of the economy, such as corporate earnings and manufacturing output levels, could also sway the Fed to delay a rate hike once again. The Fed has not raised rates since December 2015.
Media contact: Callie Briese, 612-844-7340; firstname.lastname@example.org
All information and representations herein are as of September 7, 2016, unless otherwise noted.
The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change, and may differ from views expressed by other Thrivent Asset Management associates. Actual investment decisions made by Thrivent Asset Management will not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or product. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor's specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
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