Solid Underlying Employment Numbers Counter-Balance a Weaker Headline

On the surface, the August labor report was clearly a disappointment. Nonfarm payrolls grew by just +130k, with 25k of those jobs being temporary government 2020 census workers. Prior month revisions subtracted -20k from the June/July count which pulled the three-month average down to +156k. The manufacturing sector added just +3k new jobs, while -4k mining jobs and -11k retail jobs disappeared last month. If these numbers told the whole story, bond yields might have retreated back to levels from earlier in the week, but so far, the bond market is flat on the day. The reason is that the separate household survey painted a brighter picture.

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