United States Unemployment

United States

United States: Payrolls growth slows but unemployment ticks down to 6.1%

September 5, 2014

Non-farm payrolls grew by 142,000 in August, which was well below July’s revised increase of 212,000 (previously reported: +209,000). This result breaks the six-month-long streak during which payrolls had increased by more than 200,000 each month. The reading was the lowest in eight months and significantly undershot market expectations of a 225,000 increase in payrolls.

The private sector was almost entirely responsible for new hiring, having added 134,000 jobs in August. The largest gains were registered in professional and business services, healthcare, and construction. The public sector added just 8,000 jobs. The U.S. economy has recovered 9.5 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough in the labor market crisis. In fact, the economy now has 753,000 more people employed than at the January 2008 peak.

The unemployment rate—derived from a different survey—ticked down from 6.2% in July to 6.1% in August. The reading was in line with market expectations. The labor force participation rate decreased slightly from 62.9% to 62.8%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 6.4% this year, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2015, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 5.8%.

Author:, Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment August 2014

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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