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Gold unchanged as non-farm employment gains on economic recovery

Kitco News

The unemployment rate fell to 8.4% as total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Gold prices fluctuated Friday morning. December gold futures last traded at $1,939.9, up 0.1% on the day.

“In August, an increase in government employment largely reflected temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services,” the BLS report said.

The unemployment rate fell by 1.8% in August, while the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million to 13.6 million. Both of these measures have fallen by four consecutive months now, the report noted.

“Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 3.1 million in August to 6.2 million, down considerably from the series high of 18.1 million in April,” the report said.

However, the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million. Permanent job losses have increased by 2.1 million since February, the report noted.

The trend of temporarily laid off workers returning to the workforce has been predicted by notable Wall Street firms.

Goldman Sachs issued a report in late August in which they outlined their expectations for how the recovery in employment will take place; the rehiring of temporarily laid-off workers will improve jobs numbers but almost a quarter of those layoffs are to be permanent.

“Goldman Sachs now anticipates that almost a quarter of the temporary layoffs will become permanent. Some 2 million of those individuals could remain unemployed well into 2021,” Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, which was largely unchanged in July, increased by 0.3% to 61.7%. This measure is still 1.7% below its February highs.

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