The August 2012 unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, down .2 percent from the July 2012 rate of 8.3 percent. Last month, the private sector added 96,000 jobs to the economy. Although a reduction in the unemployment rate looks promising, the addition of 96,000 jobs is disappointing.


Yesterday, stocks rallied after the ADP August jobs data showed that private sector employment grew by 201,000 positions. According to the Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat blog, “economists are expecting Friday’s nonfarm payroll reports will show only 125,000 jobs were added.”


While some discrepancy between the ADP report and the official Department of Labor data was expected, the 96,000 jobs figure is about 23 percent less than economists predicted.


Jobs were added in several industries:


  • Food service and drinking places (+28,000)
  • Health care (+17,000)
  • Computer systems design and related services (+11,000)
  • Finance and insurance (+11,000)

In addition to releasing August 2012 data, the Department of Labor revised June and July’s figures. The initial June 2012 employment situation summary reported 64,000 new jobs; this figure has been revised to 45,000 new jobs. July 2012 data was also revised downward, changing from the initial report of 163,000 jobs to 141,000 jobs.

August 2012 unemployment rate drops to 8.1%
Private sector employment grew by 96,000 jobs.