There isn't any way to spin this one; I looked, I studied, I read it twice, three, four times.
Facts are what they are, and the facts are that this report sucks:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.
The reason the unemployment rate "edged down" is that 1.483 million people gave up and exited the workforce! The Department of Labor Lies doesn't count anyone who gives up any longer, so the "unemployment rate" is claimed to have decreased.
But what's worse is that there were a net 868,000 fewer people with jobs in August over July, despite there being 212,000 more people of working age in the population. That's right -- net-on-net over one million fewer people (adjusted for population change) were working last month.
If you were wondering why President Obama looked like an elephant had rammed him last night while he was on the podium and his usual "nose in the air" attitude was a bit more-subdued than usual, this is probably the reason.
Here's the charts.
Note that while the annualized rate of change is deteriorating it remains positive. However, the monthly job picture was one of actual loss into a period that should be seasonally reasonable (summer hires tend to be laid off in September, not August!)
Here you can see that the total number of actual employed people (not adjusted for population) actually declined last month.
This is where your "unemployment rate" decrease came from -- people giving up.
And right on schedule the alleged improvement in the employment rate of the population, which is the only figure in the report that matters for government sustainability as only employed people pay taxes, rolled over once again. This is the "taker" .vs. "producer" figure, basically.
And finally, employment adjusted for population changes is found here:
That just plain continues to suck as it has for essentially the entire period from 2000 onward.
Obama better hope that this is the floor on that latter chart, for if it is not he's going to lose. Next month's report will come right in front of the election and if we break the floor that we're sitting on now odds are that the market won't like it one little bit.
Oh, incidentally, this is a furhter confirmatory indicator that all the regional Fed surveys I've been talking about for three months are right -- and we're in a new "official" recession despite blowing $5 trillion in new federal borrowing trying to hide it.
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