August 2008 Jobs Report and Wages

Here are the job market and compensation numbers for August 2008 (based on the job report):

Net loss of 84,000 jobs in the month (revised to 76,000 job lost in September 08 and revised again to a loss of 127,000 in October ’08)

  • Analysts expected a loss of 75,000
  • eighth straight months of job losses
  • June and July revised to say 58,000 more jobs than originally estimated were lost
    • With the revisions the last three months have averaged 81,000 jobs lost a month whereas the first three months averaged 67,000 jobs lost a month
  • 605,000 jobs lost in 2008

Unemployment rate rose to 6.1% 

  • Forecasters thought it would raise to 5.6%
  • Underemployment is now at 10.7%
    • This includes part timers who want full time jobs
  • Worst reading in five years
  • The unemployment rate hasn’t accelerated like this since 1983
  • In May much of the increase in unemployment was attributed to college students entering the summer work force, well the August reading is the opposite. Many adults over 25 years old are forces the figure higher.
  • Jobless rate for adults with less than a HS degree is at 9.6%
  • Jobless rate for college students entering the workforce is 2.7%
    • Highest since August 2004

Specific Segment Job numbers:

  • Construction lost 8,000 jobs
  • Services lost 27,000
  • Manufacturing lost 61,000 jobs (this is strange since exports are keeping the US economy afloat)
  • Administrative and Support Services dropped 61,600
  • Government sector added 17,000


  • Average hourly earnings over the past 12 months is 3.6%
  • Weekly earnings rose more slowly than the hourly rate: 3.3%


Job Report Stats Summary

About benleeson
My name is Ben Leeson. I currently work for a large financial company in IT. I went to school at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in HR. Professor William Brown taught me and I enjoyed his classes; even acquiring an appreciation for just about all things HR. I didn’t pursue a job in that field after college but I’ve kept up with it. This blog will further my fascination with all things HR. I hope to grow my knowledge of the area through thoughtful writings and spirited feedback. I will attempt to have a fairly routine style so anyone reading can come to expect certain segments. Please excuse my incorrect grammar and occasional misspelling.

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