US employment: some interesting but not positive facts

Total private sector employment increased by 152,000, but the prior month’s figures were revised down by 36,000.   The last two months of increases represent the lowest two monthly increase since September of last year.

Goods producing employment, despite the positive ISM PMIs, is stuck at its February level (July employment was revised down 23,000).

Construction saw a minor prior month downward revision, but the interesting fact is that employment appears to have plateaued.  From October 2012 to March 2013 we saw 166,000 new jobs in this sector, but since the April to August period, employment has fallen by 1,000.

Durable goods employment rose by 7,000 from March to August, a much slower pace than the 46,000 from October to February.  Non durable goods employment is at its lowest level since February 2012.

Private service sector employment grew at its slowest pace since January (assuming no subsequent downward revision to this month’s data).

Retail is one of the few sectors to be revised up, with three monthly growth, with the exception of November 2012, at its strongest level since 1999.   I am not sure if this is a positive, are you?

Transportation and warehousing employment peaked in December 2012 and remains some 30,000 below this peak. 

Professional and business services employment has contributed a large part of recent gains, yet growth in the last month has slowed sharply to 23,000 in August from 93,000 in March.

But education and health has been revised up these last two months and has shown robust growth in August (even after seasonal adjustments).

Leisure and hospitality which has shown very strong growth is petering out with substantial downward revisions over the last two months.   Two month growth rates are the lowest since the early summer of 2012 and 40% below its May 2013 peak.

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