Solid Growth in Second Quarter
Second Quarter Strongest since 2006

August Unemployment Rate Steady

The unemployment rate for August ticked down to 6.1 percent, but this was not considered a great job report by most economists.


The disappointing news is on the job growth side, with just 142,000 jobs added (see graph below).

On the one hand, 142,000 NEW jobs can't be considered terrible news.  On the other hand, the big issue with the recovery from the Great Recession has been whether the economy can sustain jobs growth.  For comparison purposes, note that, since 2011 the U.S. economy has been averaging 190,000 new jobs per month.  So this recent news is not reassuring.  It will be interesting to follow total employment over the next few months.


Finally, the labor force participation rate remains at modern historically low levels.  For August, it was just 62.8%.  The LFPR has not been lower since February 1978.