Unemployment in August increased and the unemployment reported for each month this year was adjusted up today.
Unemployment numbers are going up and the labor market is falling.
Ahead of today’s payrolls report consensus was already ugly enough, with some of the largest banks expecting a number well below expectations (JPM was at 125K, Citi at 130K, Goldman at 149K vs median consensus of 170K). And while moments ago we got a number which was at least nominally stronger than expected, the report in general was weak enough to suggest that – as we expected – the wheels are finally coming off the US labor market (as this week’s JOLTS report strongly hinted).
With that preamble out of the way, moments ago Biden’s BLS (Bureal Of Lies and Statistics) reported that in August, the US added 187K jobs, and beating the consensus estimate of 170K…
Here is how the BSL reported the numbers:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 187,000 in August, and the unemployment rate rose to
3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up
in health care, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and construction. Employment in
transportation and warehousing declined.
This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures labor
force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The establishment survey
measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. For more information about the
concepts and statistical methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 3.8 percent in August, and the number of
unemployed persons increased by 514,000 to 6.4 million. Both measures are little different from
a year earlier, when the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent and the number of unemployed persons
was 6.0 million. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.7 percent), Whites (3.4
percent), and Asians (3.1 percent) rose in August. The jobless rates for adult women (3.2 percent),
teenagers (12.2 percent), Blacks (5.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little change
over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased
by 294,000 to 2.9 million in August, offsetting a decrease of 280,000 in July. In August, the
number of new entrants edged up to 597,000. (New entrants are unemployed persons with no previous
work experience.) (See table A-11.)
Both the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks, at 2.2 million, and the number of long-
term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.3 million, edged up in August. The
long-term unemployed accounted for 20.3 percent of all unemployed persons. (See table A-12.)
The BLS makes the results sound so good but Zerohedge has more:
Superficially this would have meant an unchanged print from last month when the BLS also reported 187K jobs, however in keeping with recent trends that number was revised – drumroll – lower again, to 157K, meaning that every single monthly payrolls print in 20-23 has been revised lower (see chart below), a 12-sigma probability and virtually impossible unless there was political pressure to massage the data higher initially and then revise it lower when nobody is looking.
But wait there’s more: while July was revised down by 30K from +187,000 to +157,000, June was revised even more, by 80,000, from +185,000 to +105,000, which means that a number that was originally reported as 209K has been reivsed 50% lower, to 105K and a collapse vs original expectations of 230K. Here, the BLS was proud to report that “with these revisions, employment in June and July combined is 110,000 lower than previously reported.”
In other words, we now wait for the August payrolls number to be revised sharply lower as well because that’s how Biden’s handlers roll.
Turning to the unemployment rate, things here get really ugly: instead of the 3.5% expected print, in August the unemployment rate jumped to 3.8%, up sharply from 3.5% in July, and the result of 514K newly unemployed workers as the total civilian labor force increased by 736K individuals, as there were 597,000 new entrants in the labor market, people looking for work for the first time, and the highest level since October 2019. This confirms what we have been seeing: the savings are tapped out and credit cards are maxed out.
The jump in the unemployment rate means that the economy was only able to absorb a net 77K of them in August. At the same time, this surge in new workers also suppressed wage growth (as noted below).