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America's Dismal August Jobs Report

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America's Dismal August Jobs Report

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What few jobs were created were low pay poor ones.

by Stephen Lendman

Headlines obscured its ugliness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a dismal 96,000 jobs created. Whisper numbers suggested around 200,000. June and July totals were revised down 41,000. They're usually momentum drivers for future data releases.

U-3 unemployment dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%. It's because 368,000 workers hadn't found jobs after over a year of looking. BLS calls them non-persons. They don't exist. 

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At the same time, it added a fictitious 87,000 jobs based on so-called birth/death calculations. They turn reality on its head. 

The labor force participation rate fell from 63.7% to 63.5% month over month. Doing so hit a 30 year low.

The total number of non-person workers surged 2.7 million. It's 3.2% above a year ago. An astonishing 89 million Americans want jobs can't find them. Their numbers equal Germany's entire population.

America's employment to population ratio fell from 58.4% in July to 58.3% in August. It's the lowest since August 2011.

Workers without jobs for six months fell monthly since spring. It's because they can't find employment and stopped looking. They're leaving the labor market because their jobless benefits expired. If extended ones lapse, about one quarter of unemployed people only will get relief, but for how long who knows.

The newly unemployed who've been seeking work for five weeks or less increased 133,000. It's 5% more than July. Mean and median unemployment duration rose in August. They stand at 39.2 and 18 weeks respectively.

Economist John Williams reengineers economic data based on more reliable decades earlier modeling. Payroll job gains were pathetically few. The broader Household Survey declined by 119,000. July plunged by 195,000.

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Real unemployment is 22.8%. Expect worse, not better, ahead.

Private payrolls barely registered half of expectations. Manufacturing dropped for the first time since September 2011. Down 15,000, it was the largest decline since August 2010.

Goods-producing employment is highly cyclical. It leads the rest of the jobs market. Expect service sector declines to follow. Manufacturers created virtually no jobs since April. It's eerily similar to what happened in 2007. Perhaps another inflection point was reached.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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