Eight straight months of private sector job growth in 2010

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the unemployment and payroll numbers for August today. While the numbers still pointed to overall job losses, -54,000 jobs lost in August, the same as in July, they also showed the eighth straight month of a private sector job growth, a fact that President Barack Obama’s administration was quick to highlight. The table below shows how private sector payroll has grown month by month in 2010 (all numbers in ’000):

Month Private
January 107,123 +16
February 107,185 +62
March 107,343 +158
April 107,584 +241
May 107,635 +51
June 107,696 +61
July 107,803 +107
August 107,870 +67

The total private sector job growth in 2010 is 763,000 through August (the numbers for July and August are still preliminary and could be revised in either direction).

As the table shows well over half of the private sector jobs created this year were created in March and April and since then growth has been pretty slow, almost alarmingly so, on the heels of a similarly slowing economy. Hopefully the economy will kick back into gear now that business activity picks up after the end of summer, but there is certainly a risk that economic, political and policy uncertainties will continue to hamper the seemingly fading recovery.

(Note: The unemployment number – which edged up to 9.6% in August from 9.5% in July – is calculated based on a survey of households, the CPS, while the payroll data is based on a survey of organizations, the CES. The state, regional, and local unemployment rates released later in the month are based on yet a third data series.)