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Weekly Economic Monitor – The August Employment Report in Perspective

By Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Raymond James

The August Employment Report in Perspective – Private–sector payrolls rose by 1.027 million in the initial estimate for August. Normally, such a gain would be considered outstanding. However, in this recovery, that comes as a bit of a disappointment. The increase in jobs leaves us well short of where we were before the pandemic, and the pace of improvement appears to have slowed. In contrast to the establishment survey (which gives us estimates of nonfarm payrolls), the household survey showed more significant improvement in August. However, the payroll figures should be granted more weight.

This Week – A relatively sleepy calendar as far as the economic data are concerned. Jobless claims, with the new seasonal adjustment, are expected to remain elevated, but there’s often some noise before and after major holidays. The PPI and CPI reports are expected to show a further rebound in prices that were depressed in March and April, some supply chain pressures, but no broad-based increase in the underlying inflation trend.

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