US employment stagnates in August 2011, month on month

Posted By: Religare
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US employment stagnates in August 2011
Data released by the US Labour Department on Friday showed that nonfarm payroll employment in the country was unchanged in August 2011 over the previous month. The stagnation of the country's job market is an ominous sign for the world's largest economy, with a threat of a fresh recession now looming large.

The nil job growth in August 2011 over last month compares with a 85,000 monthly gain reported in July 2011. The unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent in August 2011, unchanged from last month, with 14 million people still unemployed in the US.

Manufacturing payrolls fell by 3,000 in August 2011 from last month, compared to a 36,000 gain in July 2011, showing the sharp drop in business confidence. Government payrolls declined by 17,000 in August 2011 from last month.

Employment in healthcare and mining rose by 30,000 and 6,000 respectively in August 2011 over last month. Employment in sectors such as construction, trade, transportation, and utilities; financial activities; and leisure and hospitality changed little over the month.

The average private sector work week fell by 0.1 hour to 34.2 hours in August 2011, while average hourly earnings fell by 0.1 percent to three cents in the reported month over last month.

Weak consumer spending amid global economic uncertainties may be causing companies in the US to freeze hiring. The worse than expected job data may prompt the Federal Reserve to inject fresh stimulus into the ailing US economy.

The weak job data caused heavy selling on the US markets on Friday. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 1.46 percent; NASDAQ lost 1.56 percent, while S&P 500 was down by 1.62 percent on Friday.

Read more about: economy, federal reserve, jobless data
Story first published: Saturday, September 3, 2011, 9:30 [IST]
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