US TEMP JOBS FALL BY 3,100, OVERALL JOB GROWTH SOFTENS

Sep 15, 2016

Temporary help jobs edged down by 3,100 in August from the previous month, and the year-over-year growth rate for temporary jobs in the US ticked down to 1.15%, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of temporary jobs reached 2.92 million, the second-highest highest level since December.

The temporary penetration rate — temporary help services jobs as a percent of total employment — remained at 2.02% in August. The BLS also revised downward the number of temp jobs in July by 10,500.

“Total employment growth moderated in August from the strong gains in June and July, while temporary help reversed to a slight decline,” said Andrew Braswell, CCWP, senior research analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts. “Still, the recent trend suggests that labor markets have stabilized following the weakness exhibited earlier in 2016.”

Total nonfarm jobs rose by 151,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, below expectations and a sharp drop from the gain of 275,000 in July. However, employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.

“While August’s job gain was a little disappointing, over the past three-six months the trend in employment growth remained solid even as our employment trends index suggests that a softening in job growth could be on the horizon,” The Conference Board said in a statement released today after the jobs numbers. “The manufacturing and mining industries continue to shed jobs, but together they are less than 10% of total employment, so their impact is limited.”

The unemployment rate remained at 4.9% in August, unchanged for the second consecutive month. The college-level unemployment rate — which can serve as a proxy for professional employment — rose to 2.7% in August from 2.5% in July.

“The drop in the unemployment rate seems to have paused in recent months as more people have entered the labor force, but with the ongoing massive retirement of baby boomers and solid employment growth, the labor market is likely to continue to tighten,” The Conference Board stated. “The somewhat disappointing employment report reduces the likelihood of a Fed hike in September. Still, one hike in 2016 is more likely than not.”

Bloomberg reports the total nonfarm jobs increase fell short of the median forecast in its survey of economists, which called for a 180,000 increase.

“Overall, it still looks like the job market is doing well,” Bloomberg quoted Michael Feroli, chief US economist at JPMorgan Securities LLC in New York, who projected a 150,000 gain in payrolls. Even so, “this probably takes a little bit away from the case for a September [benchmark interest rate] move,” said Feroli, who projects the Fed will raise rates in December.

Source: American Staffing Association