Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, with the unemployment rate holding at 9.1% as the recovery in the labor market ground to a halt. July growth was revised down as well, from 117,000 to 85,000.
The private sector grew by 17,000 in August, down from 156,000 in July. Government cuts offset this growth perfectly, cutting 17,000 jobs. Adding to jobs were primarily the healthcare and mining sectors, with the information industry losing the most. A strike at Verizon meant 45,000 less jobs, but if those were added in the growth would remain extremely weak.
The unemployment rate held at 9.1% even with a slight growth in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate rose from 63.9% to 64.0%. The number of long-term unemployed (searching for a job for 6+ months) remained steady at six million, while the number of discouraged workers fell by 133,000 from a year earlier.
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