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216,000 Jobs Lost In August, Unemployment Up .3% To 9.7%

The manufacturing sector lost 63K, the financial sector 28K and Construction lost 65. Health care added 47.4 thousand jobs. One of the more interesti

The manufacturing sector lost 63K, the financial sector 28K and Construction lost 65. Health care added 47.4 thousand jobs.

One of the more interesting findings is that up till April government jobs were increasing, since April they have declined. The decline isn’t huge, but it exists at all levels of government. For some reason the postal service in particular seems to be shedding jobs.

Though the job loss is less than we’ve seen in the past it’s surprisingly uniform: except for health care and social assistance everything else is either down, or just barely increasing. Fundamentally, every industry without pricing power is taking it on the chin, but if you’re sick, you’re sick, so the medical industry retains the ability to hire. I suspect that the manufacturing numbers would be much worse if defense related manufacturing was removed.

The broadest measure of unemployment, which includes all discouraged workers and folks who work part time but want full time work is up .5% to 16.8%.

Men have lost jobs a lot faster than women. The female unemployment rate has increased by 2.5% in the last year compared to an increase for males of 4.3%.

America continues to be hollowed out. The stimulus will start hitting harder over the next few months, and we should see somewhat better numbers but my long term forecast remains the same: before the next recession, the US will not see a recovery to the same percentage of people employed as before the recession. My forecast for the year was a technical recovery of GDP before the end of the year (it looks like we might even have one for the second quarter, which is sooner than I expected) and no job gains before next year. Might be wrong on the second as well, but any job gains will be nominal and below the 150,000 level just required to keep up with population increases.

The job market is certainly not going to feel good this year. I expect it to remain hard to find a new job right through the end of 2010. Since the likelihood of a new civilian stimulus bill is low, and all stimulus will have to be run through the defense department and the Afghan war, I would suggest that those who can see what they can do about getting a security clearance. The best paid jobs with the best benefits will be in the defense industry for the time being—unless you’re able to finagle a high end job in the finance industry, and be kept afloat with trillions of dollars of Federal Reserve money, of course. In which case, buddy, could you spare some change?

[Employment situation release from BLS (pdf)]

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