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August Jobs Report Positive, But Lower Than Expected, Buoyed By Census Hires

Jobs numbers from the month of August were lower than economists had predicted, with a net of 130,000 jobs added to payrolls across the nation last month.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although indicative that the economy continues to add jobs, economists were optimistic for 160,000 jobs — or a 23 percent increase of what was actually seen — for the month of August. Unemployment remained unchanged, at 3.7 percent.

Stock markets went up, however, as investors expected the sour jobs numbers, coupled with trade war woes and other negative economic signs, would result in an interest rate cut, Yahoo! News reported.

June and July monthly jobs reports were also revised downward, collectively altering their numbers by 20,000 less jobs than were previously reported.

The latest jobs numbers are indicative of a general “slow-down” in jobs growth over the course of 2019. On average per month, around 158,000 jobs have been created per month in this year. In 2018, that average was around 223,000 jobs created per month, CNBC reported.

Some other concerns abound within the latest jobs report, although it’s unclear yet whether they’re a trend to look out for or an anomaly that isn’t a sign of an impending recession.

Jobs numbers within August’s report showed that much of the jobs gained were, in fact, government-related Census positions, 25,000 in total. Excluding government hirings altogether, and there’s a less-optimistic portrait of the economy, though still in the positive column: just 96,000 private sector jobs created month-to-month.

President Donald Trump lauded the jobs numbers in a tweet on Thursday morning. “Really Good Jobs Numbers!” the president wrote.

According to a tweet from Steve Benen, a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show, jobs growth under Trump has slowed down by as much as 14.47 percent, compared to the last year and a half of the Obama presidency to the first year and a half of Trump’s time in office.

As Benen pointed out, 6.84 million jobs were created in former President Barack Obama’s last 31 months in office. In Trump’s first 31 months — which includes this latest August report — there were 5.85 million jobs created.

 



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