NFP Day: -54,000

We are looking forward to a possible cooling of Employment in August — slower economic growth, weaker auto sales, softer than hoped for back-to-school retail season. Consensus is for a private payroll gain of 40k, (July was +71k), with a slight uptick in the jobless rate (9.6%). More census workers were let go, which could skew the headline number to negative 125k.

Back in 15 to update this . . .

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UPDATE: 8:39am:

Looks like a better than expected report:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (-54,000) in August, and the unemployment rate was about unchanged at 9.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Government employment fell, as 114,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+67,000).

Let’s take a closer look at the data:

• Average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents (0.3%) to $22.66;• The average workweek for all employees was unchanged (34.2 hours).

• The number of unemployed persons (14.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.6%) were little changed in August.

• Temporary Help workers increased by 16,800.

• U6 Underemployment increased from 16.5% to 16.7%;

• Long-term unemployment dropped: The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell to 42% from 44.9% — a decline of 323,000 to 6.2 million;

• Government employment fell by 121,000; 114,000 Census 2010 workers were dropped from federal government payrolls;

• Revisions were positive: June revised from -221,000 to -175,000; July was revised from -131,000 to -54,000.

One oddity worth noting: Construction employment was up (+19,000) — we can only assume that is a seasonal effect.

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