A mixed picture on the jobs front in August provides little clarity on anticipated Fed move. Kelsey Hubbard reports.
A mixed August jobs report keeps investors anxious. The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected in August but the unemployment rate dropped to a 7-and-one-half year low. The mixed picture doing little to provide clarity about whether the Federal Reserve will move ahead with an interest rate hike. The 173-thousand gain in non-farm payrolls came in below the 220-thousand estimate. BETH ANN BOVINO, U.S. CHIEF ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S SAYING: "Headline numbers, pretty disappointing. We were looking for something over 200,000, and of course it broke the streak because we were seeing that was pretty regularly. However, it is August and a lot of people are at the beach. So, overall, disappointing headline, but a lot of the underlying data looked pretty promising." That includes the June and July readings, which were revised upwards meaning more jobs were added in those months than were previously thought. And there was improvement in hours worked and wages. Jobs gains were spread across nearly all sectors of the economy in August except for energy and manufacturing. The labor force participation rate or people working or looking for work stayed the same. The less than robust report combined with the recent volatility in global markets creating continued uncertainty about whether the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates when policy makers meet September 16th and 17th.