"August Curse" Continues As Payrolls Miss, Rise By Only 151,000; Hourly Earnings Disappoint

Tyler Durden's picture

With Wall Street expecting another solid month of payroll growth, following multiple-sigma outlier prints in June and July, the whisper expectations was for a miss on the back of the previously discussed "August Curse" which has seen a consistent miss in the month of August for the past decade, and that is precisely what happened when moments ago the BLS reported that in the month of August only 151K jobs were added, missing the consensus of 180K job growth by nearly 30,000 jobs.


Putting the miss in context:

The household survey did not bring any offsetting good news either as reported employment rose only 97,000 in August to 151.614 million.

The birth-death adjustment added 106K "jobs" to the unadjusted number.

The unemployment rate remained flat at 4.9%, despite expectations of a decline to 4.8%, while hourly earnings rose just 0.1%, also missing expectations of 0.2% increase, and down sharply from last month's 0.3% rebound.

The labor force participation rate remained flat at 62.8% as the number of people not in the labor force rose by 58,000.


Most troubling is that the "any minute now" jump in wages refuses to arrive, with average hourly earnings rising just 0.1% in August, well below the 0.3% increase in July. Worse, average weekly earnings actually posted a sharp decline, sliding from $884.08 to $882.54, slamming the annual growth rate to the lowest since early 2014.


More data from the Establishment Survey:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in August, compared with an average monthly gain of 204,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+34,000). Over the year, the industry has added 312,000 jobs.

Social assistance added 22,000 jobs over the month, with most of the growth in individual and family services (+17,000).

In August, employment in professional and technical services edged up (+20,000), about in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+24,000).

Financial activities employment continued on an upward trend in August (+15,000), with a gain in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+6,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 167,000 jobs.

Health care employment continued to trend up in August (+14,000), but at a slower pace than the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+39,000). In August, hospitals added 11,000 jobs, and employment in ambulatory health care services trended up (+13,000). A job loss in nursing and residential care facilities (-9,000) offset a gain in July.

Employment in mining continued to trend down in August (-4,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has declined by 223,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in several other industries--including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, temporary help services, and government--changed little over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours in August. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $25.73. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $21.64 in August.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down from +292,000 to +271,000, and the change for July was revised up from +255,000 to +275,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 1,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month.

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SallySnyd's picture

 Here is an article that looks at the real unemployment rate:




The real unemployment rate is far different from what the Bureau of Labor statistics would suggest.

Shocker's picture

Here we go again, another recovery month.

Full Layoff / Closing List: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

So what? It's another positive jobs number in a long series of stellar NFP reports under Obama. How can anyone deny at this point that we are in a strong recovery? Jobs continue to increase month after month, Silicon Valley is booming, and the S&P 500 continues to make all time highs. I think the people who refuse to believe in the recovery are quite sad and pathetic. Investors are happy, pensioners are happy, developers working in cool startups are happy - but doomer ZHers are eternally bitter and twisted.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

These job numbers are an unmitigated joke produced by a government of despots with reprobate minds who are evil to the core!!!!

This is the new definition of a DEMOCRAT!!!!

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) VinceFostersGhost Sep 2, 2016 11:03 AM

There goes any possiblity of a September rate hike.  Trump's going to have to win without a market or economic collapse.  I don't think he can stay presidential in the debates so he's going to need an October surpise to sink Hillary.


jeff montanye's picture

so no market (stock?) or economic collapse before november?  you must be hell in the options market.

kliguy38's picture

I'm sure this can be all straightened out with some of our Fed jawboning..............just don't buy gold

onewayticket2's picture

it is Election Season starting in 4 days....numbers will get very good.  just watch.

Nick Jihad's picture

It has already begun. There are plenty of Lois Lerners in the BLS.

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

Here's the truth. In my circle of friends and family about 60% are having their hours cut and being laid off completely. There are no jobs. All this is a lie.  

Bush Baby's picture

Would the Ministry of Truth, lie?

VinceFostersGhost's picture



He's not going to say it......but yes.

Havoc Squad's picture

MDB's plaintive pleas supporting the status quo are always amusing.  Bleat on, and thanks for the chortle.

runningman18's picture

What MDB is trying to say in his special way is, if the BLS actually calculated real unemployment including U-6 measurements and people removed from the rolls entirely because they have been unemployed too long, then we would be looking at over 100 million working age Americans without jobs (or jobs with enough hours to survive on) - that's around 1/3 of the country.  Truly, an economic recovery for the ages.  If only sarcasm came across in text, then perhaps people could better appreciate MDB's "art".

Haus-Targaryen's picture

MDB, in your opinion, do you consider those that assert we are not in a recovery are engaging in "hate speech" and should be subject to any and all "hate speech" laws? 


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Interesting you mention that - in China, they have done exactly this. Many political scholars in the US agree that speech that harms the economy should be illegal, as it directly impacts others financially. You could make a sound argument that it's effectively a conceiled form of theft.

Nunyadambizness's picture

So....you think we need that in the US??

Friggin' communist pos.

jeff montanye's picture

concealed.  you are held to a higher standard.

BabaLooey's picture

Good Christ....are you actually EATING opium?

One must have to rub the stuff in one's belly to come up with asinine jargon like you do.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



are you actually EATING opium?


Do you have some?

Quantum Bunk's picture

if you know where i can get some good BTH, let me know

Global Hunter's picture

I had to thumbs up MDB for "developers working in cool startups are happy".  Funny shit. 

Ronaldo's picture

Do you think those pensioners surviving on a fixed income are happy then?  Quite a perspective.

TexasAggie's picture

Well, Obama, good joke.  However, this was just enough to take a Sep rate cut off the table (like it was going to happen anyway). A rate rise with a Hitlery shill on the voting Fed was never going to let a rate rise pass, so the Fed needed a worse than expected.  Oct will probably about the same, but Nov will be blockbuster, with the unemployment rate at 4%, and a million jobs created so her speech on the 7th of Nov will be a humdinger, provided that they can find someone to hold the dummy on their lap and spout out some words.

LawsofPhysics's picture


The official unemployment rate is at 4.9%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everything is "awesome"!!!!!!

"once unemployment is below 6.5% we will begin to normalize interest rates" - Ben Bernanke

Well motherfuckers?!?!?!

Eagle40's picture

Hey Million Dollar Moron,

Your Obozo economy is a joke. As usual progressive liberal policies fail just like the worthless articles you write. Don't you know by now that progressive liberal Marxist idealogies fail every time. Please take an Econ 101 and history course so you can work those 2 brain cells of yours ya dumb dumb.

runningman18's picture

This latest report is not really much of a miss, it's perfect for the fed.  Not too high, not too low.  They'll keep everyone guessing all the way up to the September meeting. 

Bryan's picture

Goldilocks strikes again!

de3de8's picture

Did that sigh of relief I just heard emirate from Janet?

runningman18's picture

Nah, they determine what the jobs report will say months in advance.  It's completely arbitrary.  But don't write off a rate hike yet.  This number was perfect for them to go either way.

de3de8's picture

Your right, it's all a show for the sheeple

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

"Other Policy Tools" will start to hit the chatter webs

SoDamnMad's picture

I was just about to pull up your line about "Other policy tools might be necessary" but you beat me to it. Becha a beer we will see something like this spout from a Fed member before Monday.

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

What a compliment, for that I owe you the beer outright, but will take the bet as a side pot.

jamesmmu's picture

But stocks future soar after job data, wtf?

DogeCoin's picture

Why would it not? September rate hike off the table. Not that it ever was on the table, the "market" for some idiotic reason always buys the Fed jawboning.

jamesmmu's picture

stocks soar last week because the Fed will likely to raise rate in Sept hint economy is strong. but today? WTF. No hike, stocks still going up.

DogeCoin's picture

As I recall, stocks dropped on Friday after Fischer came out and said that a rate hike was possible. The only reason the market went up on Friday temporarily was because Yellen hinted at moar QE in the event of a recession. Recession=good for stocks. DOW 20,000!

Dwardo's picture

Some day we will laugh and tell stories about how bad employment figures made S&P futures soar. Im taking screenshots.


What a joke

E.F. Mutton's picture

BC: "Gee Wally, now Ol' Lady Yellen can't raise rates, can she?"

WC: "Big Fucking Suprise, eh Beaver?"

ejmoosa's picture

Number of new job for the trailing 12 months:


For the twelve months ending June 2016: Up 1.727%

For the twelve months ending July 2016: Up 1.723%

For the twelve months ending Aug 2016: Up 1.721%


Anything look suspicious to you?

ejmoosa's picture

If they stick with the same goal seeking number, it will be 150k for September 2016.

white horse's picture

No, pure coincidence, third decimal is different.

ejmoosa's picture

It was a rarity to even have the first and second decimals to be the same two consecutive months until the Obama administration.

By the way, the rate of job growth year over year for the last 12 months is at 1.721%, down from 1.949% twelve months ago and 1.985% 24 months ago.

The trend is clear.


Nunyadambizness's picture

No, but wait--  Barry said everything was going up!!  How could he be wrong?  I mean, he practices the Law of Attraction, keep focused on what you want and it comes to pass, right??  

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Anything look suspicious to you?