the August 2014 Employment Situation

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Employment Situation report at 8:30 am Eastern time.  The figures were at least mildly disappointing.

The country added +142,000 new positions during the month, +134,000 of them in the private sector, +8,000 in government.  That broke the string of extremely positive, over-+200,000 months of job gains.  Revisions to prior months’ data were also negative, subtracting a net of -28,000 positions from the reports for June/July.

Other statistics, like the unemployment rate, the work week, the pace of wage gains…, were basically unchanged.

Although the figures weren’t great, they weren’t horrible, either.  And, of course, they’re subject to possibly large revisions over the coming two months.

For equity investors, the most interesting aspect of the report is that, despite its elevated level, the US stock market shrugged off the so-so news and ended the day higher.  This would have been the perfect excuse for a selloff had short-term traders been feeling bearish.  However, just the opposite happened.

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