SOUTHFIELD (WWJ/AP) – Employers added no net workers last month and the unemployment rate was unchanged, a sign that many were nervous the U.S. economy is at risk of slipping into another recession.
The Labor Department said total payrolls were unchanged in August, the weakest report in almost a year.
Speaking live on WWJ, Fox 2 and WWJ Business Editor Murray Feldman says a number of factors came into play.
“Three things plagued August,” Feldman said. “Congress unable to agree on a debt deal, Standard and Poor’s downgrading the U.S. debit, and then, of course, the stock market dropping hundreds of points. A lot of people didn’t feel like hiring.”
Feldman said future prospects remain gloomy.
“Over 80 percent of hiring managers polled over the past week said they expect no change in the future, so it’s not going to improve much anytime soon,” Feldman said.
“Six out of 10 say they’re having trouble finding people with the right skills. So, there’s also a skills gap on top of that,” he said.
In all the private sector added 17,000 jobs, the fewest since February 2010. That compares with 156,000 in July and 75,000 in June.
According to Matt Mosher of HiredMyWay.com, there are some industries that are hiring in Metro Detroit.
“We’re seeing a big pickup in IT and engineering positions, and we’re really seeing coming in at this point, too,” Mosher said. “Just in the last 30 days, we’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase.”
Click on the Detroit Job Desk link for information about what companies are hiring.
The number of long-term unemployed (out of work for 27 weeks or longer) was unchanged in August, at 6.0 million, and accounted for 42.9% of the unemployed.
Job gains in June and July were revised lower, to show 57,000 fewer jobs added. The downward revisions were all in government jobs.
The average work week also declined and hourly earnings fell by 3 cents to $23.09.
The unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.