Recent talk about the economy (especially from within the administration) has been upbeat. So the employment (jobs) number for August, which will be released tomorrow, will be looked at closely since that is the measure of economic health and progress that most people – and, hence, all politicians – pay attention to.
So it is interesting that today’s preliminary numbers are nothing to shout about. First, as Michelle Jamrisko and Lorraine Woellert of Bloomberg report:
Jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 302,000 in the week ended Aug. 30, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 300,000.
The total number of people on benefit rolls fell to the lowest level in more than seven years.
And, then, as Reuters reports:
U.S. companies hired 204,000 workers in August, below what analysts had projected as well as the level set in July, a report by a payrolls processor released on Thursday showed. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast that the ADPNational Employment Report would show 220,000 jobs added in the month.
Tomorrow’s report may clarify things. But … maybe not.
Whatever the number, expect it to be extravagantly spun.