August unemployment holds steady

Scott Tong Sep 1, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: The Labor Department is out with its unemployment report for August. It’s sort of the first look at how the economy did last month. So the folks at the Fed and on Wall Street wanted to get their copies. It seems employers are still hiring at a decent pace. Here’s Marketplace’s Scott Tong.


SCOTT TONG: The jobless rate fell a bit last month – from 4.8 percent to 4.7. Employers added 128,000 jobs.

MICKEY LEVY: . . . which is a little higher than the average over the last 5 months.

Mickey Levy is chief economist at Bank of America.

LEVY: There were very healthy gains in business services and temp help services

Healthcare and education employers were hiring too.

The report found a couple howevers, though: Employment in auto factories and department stores fell.

Still Levy considers the overall numbers surprisingly strong given broader signs of weakness lately in the economy, particularly consumer confidence and housing.

In Washington, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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