US jobs growth comes to halt in August – Labor Department

02 September 2011 17:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US jobs growth came to a halt in August, with non-farm employment unchanged at 131.1m people, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The department also revised downward non-farm employment numbers for June and July by 58,000 jobs.

There were 14m unemployed people in August. The unemployment rate held at 9.1%, showing little change since April, the department said.

The number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks and more – was nearly unchanged, at 6.0m in August. The long-term unemployed accounted for 42.9% of overall unemployment.

Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in August, following a gain of 36,000 in July.

Virginie Maisonneuve, the London-based head of global equities at investment bank Schroders, said the August US jobs data was disappointing.

“I was expecting weak numbers, but I think zero [non-farm employment growth] was a surprise, weaker than I thought,” she said.

“We are in a crisis of confidence mode since the debt negotiations in the US and the situation in Europe,” Maisonneuve said, prompting company decision makers to hold back on investment and hiring.

This week the White House Office of Management and Budget said it expected the US unemployment rate to continue at 9% or slightly above for this year and through 2012.

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy Blog
By: Stefan Baumgarten
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