Announced this morning, the economy added only 235,000 jobs in August, much less than expected. The Retail Trade industry fell by 28,500 jobs during the month and the Leisure and Hospitality industry was flat, after being a source of strength in previous months. The Unemployment Rate decreased two tenths to 5.2% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was flat at 61.7%. Average Hourly Earnings is up 4.3% on an annual basis, higher than expected, and Average Weekly Hours at 34.7 was flat when compared to the previous month. Overall, a very weak headline number coupled with a slight decrease in the unemployment rate. Continued difficulty in finding workers likely impacted hiring in the retail and hospitality industries, due to the ongoing labor market dislocations and Delta variant concerns. Focus will turn to how the Federal Reserve will incorporate the weak report into the timing of tapering their bond purchases in the months ahead. In all, the 10-year treasury yield initially moved lower following the report but then ticked higher and equity futures are higher as we head into the market open.
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