The American economy continued to lose steam during the month of August – at least on the employment front.
According to data released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 130,000 new jobs were created last month. That number was below the expected print of 160,000 new jobs – and below the downwardly revised 159,000 jobs created in July and the 178,000 jobs created in June.
Things would have been even worse had the federal government not made an estimated 25,000 seasonal hires related to the upcoming U.S. Census.
Take a look at the trend lines …
(Click to view)
(Via: Zero Hedge)
Those were not good numbers for U.S. president Donald Trump, who is relying on the economy to help him make his case for a second term in office in 2020. Unfortunately for Trump, private sector hiring has declined precipitously over the past eight months – and is well below where it was during the second term of former president Barack Obama.
In August, private sector job growth dipped to 96,000 – well below the 150,000 projected as well as below last month’s revised print of 131,000. On a year-to-date basis, average monthly private sector job growth has clocked in at an anemic 129,000 – well below last year’s 183,000 monthly average.
Trump’s reaction to the data?
(Click to view)
(Via: The White House)
“The economy is great,” the president tweeted. “The only thing adding to ‘uncertainty’ is the Fake News!”
Ah, yes … fake news.
There was some good news to report, though. Hourly earnings shot up by 0.4 percent from last month and are up 3.2 percent from a year ago. Also worth pointing out, this month’s uptick occurred alongside a modest increase in the work week.
Meaning people were working longer and getting paid more.
Also the labor participation rate – arguably the most important employment metric – ticked up 0.2 percent to 63.2 percent, matching its high point under Trump.
For those of you keeping score at home, here is the full release from the BEA …
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