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September 2, 2015

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Online Labor Demand Rises 34,200 in August
Conference Board News Release (09/02/15)

Online advertised vacancies rose 34,200 to 5.4 million in August, according to the Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series. The July supply and demand rate stands at 1.54 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 2.9 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 8.3 million in July.

“Labor demand remained little changed in August, maintaining a basic flat trend over the past six months,” says Gad Levanon, managing director of macroeconomic and labor market research at the Conference Board. “The recent flat trend is not particularly troublesome given the continuing high monthly levels of employer demand in the labor market.”

Private Sector Employment Increased by 190,000 Jobs in August
ADP Employment Report (09/02/15)

Private sector employment increased by 190,000 jobs from July to August, according to Automatic Data Processing. Goods-producing employment rose by 17,000 jobs in August, more than double the 7,000 gained in July. The construction industry added 17,000 jobs in August, up from 15,000 last month. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 7,000 jobs in August, after gaining only 1,000 in July. Service-providing employment rose by 173,000 jobs in August, up slightly from 170,000 in July.

“Recent global financial market turmoil has not slowed the U.S. job market, at least not yet,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Job growth remains strong and broad-based, except in the energy industry, which continues to shed jobs. Large companies also remain more cautious in their hiring than smaller ones.”

U.S. Productivity Increases at 3.3% Pace in Second Quarter
Wall Street Journal (09/02/15) Kate Davidson; Anna Louie Sussman

Worker productivity grew this spring, reflecting improvement in economic activity following a slow start to the year. Nonfarm worker productivity rose at a 3.3% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The pace was the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2013. Productivity was up 0.7% from a year ago. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 3% increase from the first quarter.

Meanwhile, unit labor costs declined at a 1.4% annual rate in the second quarter. Unit labor costs were up 1.7% from a year ago.

The advance in productivity in the second quarter largely mirrors increased economic output. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.7% annual pace in the second quarter, up significantly from the first quarter’s lackluster 0.6% advance.

ISM Manufacturing Index Falls in August
Wall Street Journal (09/01/15) Eric Morath

Manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in more than two years, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.1 in August from 52.7 in July. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. However, the reading was the weakest since May 2013. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected an August PMI of 52.7.

“Given the headwinds faced by manufacturers—the rise in the value of the dollar, slowing growth in China, and a volatile stock market—it may be that slow growth is about the best that can be expected in the near term,” says Don Norman, an economist with Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.

The ISM new orders index fell to 51.7 in August from 56.5 in July. The employment index declined to 51.2 from 52.7.

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