The first economic data for august was released last week and it was mostly positive, although the growth in payroll employment was smaller than expected.
- Motor vehicle sales surged to the highest level in more than eight years and the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly Purchasing Managers’ Indices rose, indicating stronger activity in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.
- Job growth in August was a disappointment. The U.S. economy added 142,000 jobs, the smallest increase since last December. In addition, the level of employment in both June and July was revised downward slightly.
- Office-using employment growth remains solid. The U.S. economy added 51,000 office-using jobs in August, marking the fifth consecutive month that job growth has exceeded 50,000.
- The unemployment rate declined, but this was a result of a drop in labor force participation, as workers remain discouraged about job prospects.
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