Is 2% the New Benchmark? I Hope Not.
September Unemployment Rate at 5 Percent

Jobs Report Shows Little Change

The August jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is very similar to the past few reports: lowish unemployment (4.9%), positive jobs growth (+151K) and disappointing labor force participation (62.8%).  I put this in the category of good (but not great) job reports.

The monthly unemployment rate since 2006 is plotted in the figure below.  This is the most popular statistic in the report and certainly the most positive macroeconomic indicator right now.  You can see why - it is low and this is not bad news. 


But nonfarrm employment increased by just 151,000 jobs in August and the labor force participation rate remains stubbornly low at just 62.8 percent.  So overall, this jobs report is better than our recent GDP reports but just not great.