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Jobless Rate 9.6 Percent In August; Private Payrolls Up By 67,000

Job seekers wait in line to show their resumes to potential employers at a career fair on September 2, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.
John Moore
Getty Images
Job seekers wait in line to show their resumes to potential employers at a career fair on September 2, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.

The nation's jobless rate inched up to 9.6% in August from 9.5% in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

Private employers added 67,000 jobs to their payrolls, BLS also said.

But a drop in government employment (much of it due to the laying off of temporary Census workers) led to a net decline in jobs of 54,000.

Graphic: Tracking Unemployment

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET: The bottomline on this report, as you'll see from our updates below, seems to be that while the news could have been worse it certainly didn't alter the picture of an economy that's poking along at best and not moving quickly enough to bring unemployment down.

We've passed along a lot more about the news below, so read through to get a more complete picture.

And check Planet Money as the day goes on for more about the job news.

Update at 9:05 a.m. ET. The Associated Press notes that:

"Both June and July's figures were revised to show the private sector created more jobs in both months. The July figures were revised upward to 107,000 from 71,000. June was revised upward to 61,000 from 31,000. The revisions reflected smaller losses in construction, temporary help services and non-census government jobs. Still, hiring has now been weak for four straight months."

Update at 9 a.m. ET. While today's news may not be quite as dismal as some forecasters had predicted, as NPR's Scott Horsley reported on Morning Edition this was supposed to be the "recovery summer" and things don't seem to have worked out that way.

Update at 8:53 a.m. ET. Here's a snapshot of the number of jobs on private payrolls:

-- August, 2010: 107,870,000.

-- July 2010: 107,803, 000.

-- June 2010: 107,696, 000.

-- August, 2009: 107,563,000.

So, in the past year private payrolls have grown by 307,000 jobs -- a typical increase in one month when the economy is going strong.

Update at 8:48 a.m. ET. Some of the early headlines:

-- Bloomberg News: "Companies In U.S. Added 67,000 Jobs In August."

-- Reuters: "Payrolls Fall Less Than Expected In August."

-- The Wall Street Journal: "U.S. Employers Cut 54,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.6%; Private Companies Added 67,000 Jobs In August."

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. BLS says:

Last month, the average length of time that the unemployed had been out of work was 33.6 weeks, vs. the 34.2 weeks reported in July and 35.2 weeks reported in June. But, a year ago, the average length of time was 25.2 weeks.

Update at 8:38 a.m. ET. BLS says:

-- "The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) de- clined by 323,000 over the month to 6.2 million. In August, 42.0 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

-- "Government employment fell by 121,000, reflecting the departure of 114,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls. Total private employment continued to trend up modestly over the month (+67,000). Since its most recent low in December 2009, private-sector employment has risen by 763,000."

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