US labour market weakens as unemployment spikes up

On September 1, 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest labour market data – Employment Situation Summary – August 2017 – which showed that total non-farm employment from the payroll survey rose by 156,000 in August, a smaller increase than in July, more like the weak result for May. So the July figure now seems to have been a blip in the data. The Labour Force Survey data showed that employment actually fell by 74 thousand in August and with the rise in the labour force (77 thousand), official unemployment rose by 151 thousand. The official unemployment rate also rose to 4.44 per cent. There are now 7.1 million unemployed persons in the US. There is still a large jobs deficit remaining and other indicators suggest the labour market is still below where it was prior to the crisis. Further, the bias towards low-pay and below-average pay jobs continues.

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