Why U.S. Employment Numbers Can Be Hard To Read

When the latest employment report indicated that U.S. payroll job growth in August had come in at just 179,000--far below the average 312,000-per-month pace of the previous six months--the financial markets heaved a collective sigh of relief. Fears that tightening labor markets were about to put upward pressure on wages evaporated in the face of this fresh evidence that the Federal Reserve's efforts to put the economy on a slower, more sustainable growth path were succeeding.

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