US Added Just 96,000 Jobs In August, Far Less Than Expected; Unemployment Rate Slides To 8.1%

Tyler Durden's picture

In August, two months ahead of the presidential election ahead of which this number will be one of the most critical and talked about, the US generated just 96,000 non-farm payroll jobs, on expectations of 130K additions, and compared to the July number of 163,000, now revised to 143,000K. Private payrolls rose by a modest 103,000, much lower than the expected number of 142K, and down from July's revised 162K. -15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost, compared to the expected +10K, and sadly just a little bit short of Obama's recent promise to add 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2016. Finally, while the unemployment rate came lower (surprise, surprise: this is what appears in newspapers) at 8.1%, far lower than expectations of 8.3%, and below last month's 8.3%, the broad total underemployment rate (U-6) continues to be sticky at 14.7%. Birth Death added 87,000, up from July's 52,000. The reason for the drop in the unemployment rate: labor force participation dropped to 63.5%, down from 63.7%. Oddly enough, this report leaves the NEW QE door open, even as Obama can take the accolade for a declining unemployment rate. Win-win for everyone.

From the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 139,000 per month, compared with an average  monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In August, employment rose in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.


Employment in food services and drinking places increased by 28,000 in August and by 298,000 over the past 12 months.


Employment in professional and technical services rose in August (+27,000). Job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+11,000) and management and technical consulting services (+9,000).


Health care employment rose by 17,000 in August. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added 14,000 and 6,000 jobs, respectively. From June through August, job  growth in health care averaged 15,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 28,000 in the prior 12 months.


Utilities employment increased in August (+9,000). The increase reflects the return of utility workers who were off payrolls in July due to a labor-management dispute.


Within financial activities, finance and insurance added 11,000 jobs in August. Employment in wholesale trade continued to trend up. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month and has shown little movement, on net, since February.


Manufacturing employment edged down in August (-15,000). A decline in motor vehicles and parts (-8,000) partially offset a gain in July. Auto manufacturers laid off fewer workers for factory retooling than usual in July, and fewer workers than usual were recalled in August.


Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.


The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in August. The manufacturing workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

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Shocker's picture

Another swing and miss. The job situation is horrible, no way to spin it.

Completely Layoff/closing list below



Boilermaker's picture

OH, there is ALWAYS a way to spin it.

Hype Alert's picture

And futures are up.  It's another great day in the most distorted market in history.

bdc63's picture

LOWEST PARTICIPATION RATE IN OVER 30 YEARS ... Is it still Bush's fault?????????

We're so freakin doomed


GetZeeGold's picture



Dude....relax. We missed it by jiiiiiiiiiiiiist that much.


BaBaBouy's picture

Republica Bananitta ...

francis_sawyer's picture

Cue the "7 handle" on the last print before the elections... You can probably bet the house on that...

Popo's picture

Surprise,  Goldman gets the numbers before everyone else.   Either that or Hatzius can write a report, get it through compliance and publish it in 10 minutes.

Which raises the question:   WHEN did they actually get the report.  And did they trade on it in advance?

Xibalba's picture

what do you think? 

Dr Benway's picture

Well the shit is so predictable they might "pre-make" one or a couple of versions.


I'm just waiting for their "Dewey defeats Truman" moment.

Pegasus Muse's picture

Republica Bananitta ...

All hail the Banana-In-Chief
The source of our national grief
A slippery fool
A Kleptocrat tool
And Romney provides no relief

The Limerick King


WB7 'killing it' with this stuff: 


Oh regional Indian's picture

Read a very interesting "Futurist" piece today which said that the entire economy would be gamified.

Made perfect sense. Who needs roads and bridges when you'll have nowhere to go?

In Farmville on the other hand, your virtual tomatoes will sell briskly and you can always meet your girlfriend in the "park" for a little sumthin sumthin...

Virtualization, no 3D glasses required, that is the goal. Better get that Second Life account and buy some Un-real estate while you can.


Dr. Richard Head's picture

Is there a way to buy puts options on unemployment checks and food stamps?  I've got $6k after paying all of my masters this month.

i_fly_me's picture

Buy GC and SI calls ... same thing.

Spastica Rex's picture

When I was a kid, my pop was into "futurism." He subscribed to Futurist Magazine, read "Future Shock" and stuff like that. As a 10 year old, I read all that stuff too. I remember a lot of what I read, and I remember as a 10 year old, believing it had to be true because it was in a book.

One of the central themes of '70s futurism was the idea that there wouldn't be much work to be done in the future (now). What the futurists got wrong was the consequence of this dearth of work. Their view was that robotics and automation would usher in a period of complete freedom for the bulk of humanity, with people spending their time in leisure pursuits and self improvement.

I'm still waiting for my self-cooling beverage cans.

Nobody For President's picture

And I'M still waiting for my flying car, damnit.

And full unemployment.

Guess I'm gonna get the latter first...

bobnoxy's picture

As even you could see...never mind. But the chart clearly shows the labor force particpiation rate dropping a lot right around the time Bush took office. You must have missed that in your haste to hammer Obama.

You could have had more time, you know? You could have looked at that big chart in the middle of this post.

takinthehighway's picture

In your haste to create a ZH account, you came up short on your screen name..."bobnoxious" would be more fitting.

EscapeKey's picture

Bush, Obama, Romney... people still make these retarded questions of whose fault it is?

It's fucking Jamie Dimon's fault. Bernanke. Rubin, Greenspan, Corzine. etc etc


Ag Tex's picture

It's looking to be inconsequential at this point.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

96,000 jobs isn't bad at all. That's almost a 100k people that now have secure, well-paying jobs. What's wrong with that?

LongSoupLine's picture

nothing at all...just like all those well off Facebook stock holders...know what I mean MDL?

Ignorance is bliss's picture

True...96K fast food jobs are great. You get free food from the dumpster so that we can cut back on escalating food expenses. Even illegal aliens find that they can do better in their country of origin. These are fine American jobs for the new Amerika. My kid can hardly wait to graduate from college so she can shovel french fries.

Zero Debt's picture

Sit down and listen, and let the the price of gold (and silver) speak to you.

Fantasy Planet's picture

And how many fell off the grid you stupid wonk?

Al Gorerhythm's picture

Way to go MDB. No Forseeable Problems. Thanks for the giggles.

Arnold Ziffel's picture



"Recent calculations from the Employee Benefit Research Institute show that roughly 44% of those born between 1948 and 1978—baby boomers and Generation X—won't have adequate retirement income, and that is assuming interest rates go back up in 2014. But the current environment is weighing even on those heading into retirement with what seems like a tidy sum."

Nobody For President's picture

He's a troll, but he's OUR troll, and he is one of the best!

bigwavedave's picture

Yes its Bush's fault. He isnt employed or unemployed. He has disappeared entirely and therefore not counted in the participation rate.

Yes_Questions's picture



He's preparing his witness testimony and plans for relocation.

trebuchet's picture

That was a goldilocks number -  Not negative for people to say "Bernanke you are wrong"  Not big to say "bernank, stop" and the 8.1%  fall with low number => could go up, drop from long term "participatioin" rate as the unemployed fall off the BLS  counting...  => STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT. 


15K KFG jobs lost?   Bad news => STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT


Productivity revised up?    could grow on that. 


Two transmission mechanisms for monetary policy to hel p long term unemployment (since low interest rates are not doing it, just helping to substitute capital for labour where prospects are positive but not growth)  are





trebuchet's picture

which reminds me, .. Goldilocks.. MMMMMM      ZH made my day  :)

pan's picture

Yes, like it's a huge miss for the Obama administration.  However they are up against Romney so it should not affect Obama's chances of getting re-elected.

EscapeKey's picture

The jobs situation is GREAT news... for Wall Street.

This report = QE = big bonuses.

camaro68ss's picture

Forward bitchez!!! Buhahahaha

Hype Alert's picture

Pity the fools that have saved their money for retirement and have it in a bank account.  If this doesn't cause a run on the banks and into gold, I'm not sure what will.  Unintended consequences?

GoldenTool's picture

Leave my family out of this please.


"Do unto others."

Gief Gold Plox's picture

And if they don't announce QE at the next FOMC? What happens?

Now that's the BTFD I'd like to see!

Al Gorerhythm's picture

WFD? SIlver jumps and gold breaks 2% rule. Youch, JPM.

Debtonation's picture

Deploy the kraQE3n!

LongSoupLine's picture

Employee: "uhh, sir, you have a wet spot on your pants..."

Bennie B.: "whoops, sorry, just a reaction to the moment."