This morning's employment report from the Department of Labor showed fewer-than-expected non-farm payrolls of 96,000 were added in August. Investors expected a gain of around 125,000. However, the unemployment rate edged down from 8.3% last month to 8.1%, but has shown little movement so far in 2012. This decline can be attributed to a decrease in the number of people looking for work. The U.S. dollar index immediately softened following the disappointing jobs data.
Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care. In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.0% of the unemployed.
In August, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These 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 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.