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U.S. Employment in August is Flat

The August employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) are in. The result: Pretty much No Change from one month earlier. Though it could be worse, that’s not good news.

The U.S. economy lost 54,000 jobs from July to August 2010, including the loss of 114,000 temporary census jobs. Overall, governments shed 121,000 jobs — just 7000 non-census jobs — a pretty good result compared to the July, when state and local governments in a state of fiscal crisis shed 58,000 jobs in addition to the 143,000 temporary census jobs that ended that month. Meanwhile, the private sector gained 67,000 jobs.

A closer look at the report yields little of obvious interest: Most sectors either gained a few jobs or lost a few. One exception, perhaps, is the number of part-time workers who would rather be working full time, which increased by 331,000 over the month.

Since the size of the workforce increases by at least several tens of thousands every month, a flat month means employment is losing ground slowly. The economy has added 763,000 jobs since it’s low in December 2009 — but according to BLS statistics, the economy needs to add more than 7.5 million jobs just to get back to where it was at its peak in December 2007.