Nonfarm payroll unchanged in August; unemployment 9.1%

Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1%. The rate has shown little change since April.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9%), adult women (8%), teenagers (25.4%), whites (8%), blacks (16.7%), and Hispanics (11.3%) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1%, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was about unchanged at 6.0 million in August and accounted for 42.9% of the unemployed.

The labor force rose to 153.6 million in August. Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64%, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.2%, were little changed.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.4 million to 8.8 million in August. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in August, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 977,000 discouraged workers in August, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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