Gold price surges higher following big miss in U.S. employment 235K jobs created in August
(Kitco News) - The gold market is pushing significantly higher, following a significant miss in the U.S. labor market with fewer jobs created in August.
Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said that 235,000 jobs were created last month. The data was weaker than expected as consensus forecasts called for jobs gains of 720,000.
While the headline data saw a significant miss, the Labor Department included substantial revisions to its June and July numbers. June's employment numbers were revised up by 24,000 to 962,000 from the previous estimate of 938,000. Meanwhile, July's data was revised up to 1.053 million jobs compared to the initial estimate of 943,000.
However, some economists note that the strong revisions are not enough to take the full sting out of the disappointing headline numbers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, down from July's reading of 5.4%. The unemployment rate fell in line with expectations.
The gold market has broken through critical near-term support levels in initial reaction to the weaker-than-expected employment data. December gold futures last traded at $1,827.10, up nearly 1% on the day.
Not only was job growth weaker last month, but positive for gold, wage inflation continues to creep higher. The report said that wages rose 0.6% in August, up from July's 0.4% increase. Economists were expecting to see a 0.3% increase.
A lot of focus had been placed on the August employment numbers. Many Federal Reserve officials noted that a strong number could prompt them to launch their plans to reduce their monthly bond purchases. However, some economists say the disappointing data could force the central bank to delay those plans.
"This disappointing report will make it a closer call than we expected for a September tapering announcement from the Fed," said Katherine Judge, senior economist at CIBC.
Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that the latest employment numbers puts the Federal Reserve in a very difficult position. He noted that the economic data shows the COVID-19 pandemic and the spreading Delta Variant is impacting the current recovery.
“Even allowing for the fact that first estimates for August often disappoint on the downside, the extent of the slowdown in jobs growth all-but rules out any tapering announcement at this month's FOMC meeting and, if this weakness persists, then it could be pushed into early next year.