Friday, September 2, 2011
The Department of Labor released its August employment data today, and it wasn't pretty. There were no net job gains last months--a far cry from the 150,000 jobs needed every month to keep up with the expansion of the labor market--and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%. The large Verizon strike (45,000 workers) may have impacted the numbers somewhat, but it was still disappointing. Local public employment was responsible for 20,000 jobs loss (state employment went up 5,000) and hiring in manufacturing and health care, which had been good, slowed some. Finally, the labor participation rate went down .01 percent, to 58.5 percent.