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Job declines slow, but unemployment rate jumps

September 4, 2009

The Labor Department’s August report on the jobs market has a bit of a good news/bad news slant to it. Job cuts slowed to “just” 216K, below expectations and better than last month’s 276K (up from the originally reproted 247K). But the unemployment rate, which is calculated through a distinct survey of households rather than businesses, jumped to 9.7% from 9.4% the previous month. You’ll remember that a slide back in July made some hopeful that maybe, just maybe, joblessness has stabilized.

Still, the market doesn’t seem to be too worried, at least for the moment as Treasury yields head north. The benchmark 10-Yr note has inched up about 2BPs to 3.39% since the report hit the wires.

The take away, however, continues to be that job losses are still outsized and likely will keep consumption and housing from recovering in a meaningful way.

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