So the US jobs report wasn’t great. Only 142,000 new jobs were created in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1%. Here are all the key details you need to know.
This key number declined to 62.8%, from 62.9% the previous month. It’s now at levels not seen since the late 1970s.
Another 20,000 construction jobs were created in August, and July’s were revised up to 31,000, from the originally reported 22,000.
Weak wage growth
Nominal wages rose just 2.5% in August. That’s the best increase since late 2010. But it’s still hardly anything after inflation.
Labor force shrinks
The unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, from 6.2% in July. But it fell for the wrong reasons, as labor force shrunk by 64,000.
In a bit of good news the share of long-term unemployed has been shrinking among the jobless, which could indicate there is some hope that those who suffered long spells of unemployment may be able to return to the labor markets. It fell to 31% in August.
But long-term unemployment remains quite elevated when compared to recent history.
The share of prime working-age men in the labor force continues to claw higher. That’s a good sign, which suggests that as the economy improves more people can participate. Still, it remains quite low by the standards of recent recessions and recoveries.
The bottom line
The share of working age Americans with jobs is rising, it hit 76.8% in August, up from 76.6% in July. But, again, it remains very low by recent standards. In other words, things are getting better. But it’s painfully slow going.