In August, total nonfarm employment registered its largest monthly decline (105,000) since 1991. Although private-sector employment growth has slowed recently, declines in total nonfarm employment over the last two months may overstate the sluggishness of the labor market. Payroll decreases due to layoffs at the conclusion of the decennial census are ebbing, and private-sector payroll growth would have exceeded 100,000 last month (instead of 17,000) if not for the now-resolved Verizon strike. Another labor market measure, the unemployment rate, shows little change. It rose one-tenth of a percent to 4.1% in August; since October, it has fluctuated between 3.9% and 4.1%.
Suggested citation: "Labor Markets," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 00-09, pp. 11, 09.01.2000.