Employers added 187,000 jobs in August according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This beat estimates of 170,000 that economists had going into the report by a small margin. However, the July jobs estimate was reduced by 30,000, taking it down to 157,000, and the June estimate was reduced by 80,000 to 105,000, making it the smallest monthly gain since December 2020. This is after the June number, which was originally reported to be 209,000 jobs, was reduced by 24,000 last month, making for a total revision lower of 104,000 jobs from what was originally reported.
Jobs reports are slipping into murky waters. Revisions to previous numbers are not uncommon, but a 10-percent or greater revision to previous statistics in multiple reports doesn’t project confidence in the data provided. August is also known as one of the more volatile months to project, so another revision is likely. With a potential government shutdown looming, the months ahead could bring more questions than answers, leading to an increase in speculation about which way the economy is headed. The Federal Reserve’s next decision concerning interest rates will be presented on Sept. 20.
New Highs for Crude Oil
After a corrective dip lower in prices the last two weeks, crude oil rallied this week posting gains of plus $5/brl, with the October crude oil futures hitting a new high for the year of $85.39/brl by Friday morning. Technical traders now have more solid indicators that a bullish trend is in place, and it will take a sizable move lower to break that sentiment in the short term.
Hot Temps Return to the Farm
After catching a break in temperature this last week, above-average temperatures are expected to return to the majority of the nation’s fall crop-producing acres. Rainfall has been limited for the last few weeks, and little is expected in the extended forecast. It is far enough into the growing season that corn yields are not expected to take a major hit, but fall harvest will start early in most areas without a change in weather.
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