With the August employment situation release, we have the following picture of the macroeconomy.
Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment from August release (dark blue), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), consumption in Ch.2012$ (light blue), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2020M02=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (9/1/2021 release), NBER, and author’s calculations.
Clearly, the employment numbers for nonfarm payroll have slowed their ascent, continuing a trend in established in consumption and personal income ex-current transfers in July’s numbers. The increase of 235K was 515K below the Bloomberg consensus of 750K. Signifying the impact of the delta variant’s spread, retail dropped 29K, while hospitality and leisure employment was flat, breaking the recovery in that sector.
The number of number of people saying they were unable to work because of the pandemic increased 497,000 in August, the first rise since December.
More on the employment release in the next post.