The Labor Department reports the economy added 169,000 non-farm payrolls in August, which came in below investors' expectations of 180,000 jobs beingg added. But unemployment eases to 7.3% from 7.4% in July. Employment rose in retail trade and health care but declined in information.
Disappointment jobs data raises questions over whether the Federal Reserve will begin a pullback on its historically easy monetary policy.
The report notes that in August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was about unchanged at 4.3 million. These individuals accounted for 37.9% of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 733,000.
"In August, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 219,000 from 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 month," states the report. "They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."