A bit more relief for the bulls in this month’s job’s report as the job’s market shows some positive signs, albeit minor. Total payrolls were down -54,000, but showed a private sector gain of 67,000 while the government contributed to 121,000 losses. Analysts had been expecting total losses of 90,000 and just 40,000 in private sector hiring. The unemployment rate rose to 9.6% as more workers came back into the workforce. The overall report showed fewer deflationary fears than expected as wages rose (via Econoday):
Average hourly earnings improved to 0.3 percent from up 0.2 percent in July. The August number topped the market estimate for a 0.1 percent gain. The average workweek for all workers was unchanged at 34.2 hours in July. The market forecast was for 34.2 hours.
Looking ahead to the personal income report, aggregate weekly earnings were favorable toward a moderately healthy wages & salaries component. Aggregate weekly earnings rose 0.3 percent in August, following a 0.6 percent gain the month before.
On a year-ago basis, overall payroll jobs nudged up to 0.2 percent in August from up 0.1 percent in July.
On the whole, this wasn’t a great report, but given the extreme negativity in recent weeks anything “better than expected” is a welcome change to the markets.