Right on the money.
That’s how you can sum up today’s payrolls report from the Department of Labor, which showed job growth of 1.4 million in August. While down from around 1.7 million in July, the headline figure was exactly in line with Wall Street’s estimates.
The data appeared to provide some early support to the major indices. Maybe some of yesterday’s heavy selling reflected people worrying about a possible bad number. Growth of 1.4 million is strong by historic standards and suggests the economy continues to recover from the crisis, but there’s definitely been a slide over the last few months. Growth was more than 4 million in June.
What’s really surprising is the unemployment rate falling from double digits all the way down to 8.4%, something few if anyone had expected. An increase in government hiring for census workers might have played into that. Also, the number of