Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (-54,000) in August, and the unemployment rate was about unchanged at 9.6%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. 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).
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons (14.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.6% percent) were little changed in August. From May through August, the jobless rate remained in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 percent.
Major Work Groups Data
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8%), adult women (8.0%), teenagers (26.3%), whites (8.7%), blacks (16.3%), and Hispanics (12.0%) showed little change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.2%, not seasonally adjusted.
Decline in Long-term Unemployed
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) declined by 323,000 over the month to 6.2 million. In August, 42.0 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.
Civilian Labor Force Increases Slightly
In August, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.7%) and the employment-population ratio (58.5%) were essentially unchanged.
Increase in Involuntary Part-time Workers
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 331,000 over the month to 8.9 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Little Change in Marginally Attached Labor Force
About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in August, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Discouraged Workers up 47% in One Year
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in August, an increase of 352,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.