The Perplexing Case Of The Plummeting Payrolls

The August report on the U.S. labor markets was bad news for the economy. Or was it? The headline grabber was a loss of 39,000 jobs from company payrolls, compared with a widely expected gain of 140,000 or so. A deeper look at the numbers, however, reveals a somewhat brighter picture--one that's a lot less worrisome for third-quarter economic growth.

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