WASHINGTON – While analysts had predicted the economy would add 200,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday that only 142,000 jobs were added. in August, much less than expected, Labor Department data showed Friday.
And in the manufacturing sector, no jobs were added.
"This jobs report is a big disappointment for factory workers,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.” While we can never read too much into just a month’s worth of data, a goose egg for manufacturing doesn’t look like progress to me. And it will be hard to consistently move the manufacturing jobs number up unless our goods trade deficit with China comes down.”
Despite the lower number and a sharp downward revision of June's figure, the jobless rate fell a tick to 6.1%, with the labor force participation rate also still weak.
The number of unemployed remained about 9.6 million and the number of people forced to work part-time because they couldn't find full-time jobs was also little changed at 7.3 million.
Analysts were quick to note that August data is frequently volatile and out of line with trends due to seasonal shifts. But other aspects of the August numbers showed less strength than expected. The labor force participation rate was 62.8%, still high and virtually unchanged since April.
Workers' situations were also the same as over the past six months: the average workweek remained at 34.5 hours and continued to rise at a 2.1% year-on-year pace.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014