Unemployment numbers released last week by the Department of Labor show an increase in unemployment from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent. This means a net loss of 54,000 U.S. jobs in August. Despite the net loss, private-sector employers added 67,000 jobs in August, however that wasn’t enough to counter balance the 114,000 temporary Census workers that are no longer employed by the Census Bureau.
Prior to the formal announcement, many economists were expecting growth in the unemployment rate. During his speech to bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyo. on Aug. 27, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke eluded to the negative numbers and the need for strong responses from both lawmakers and private-sector leaders as well.
Unfortunately, despite modest gains throughout the year, manufacturers in August cut 27,000 jobs, while struggling state government cut 14,000 jobs. There were a few bright spots: 28,000 new jobs were created in the health care sector, and 19,000 jobs were added in the construction industry. Temporary staffing companies also added jobs to the tune of 17,000 in August.
This data is in-line with the NSBA Mid-Year Economic Report which showed only 11 percent of small businesses hired new employees while the majority—53 percent—made no changes whatsoever to their employment.
Source: NSBA, September 7, 2010.