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Gold Price Calculators

Gold Prices Drop After Four-Month High in US Job Creation

US companies added the most jobs in four months in August, with payrolls increasing by 195,000 compared to estimates of 148,000 and 142,000 the month prior. Combined with stable jobless claims data, the US labor market appears to remain in good health.

Key Takeaways

  • Payrolls rose by 195,000 jobs vs. 148,000 expected and compared to the downwardly revised figure of 142,000 in July according to the ADP Research Institute.
  • There was little change in the number of jobless claims filed last week according to the Labor Department, with claims remaining near the lowest level since 1969.

The latest labor market data points to ongoing strength in the market, which has continued to perform well in the face of multiple economic headwinds such as the US-China trade war, weak activity in US manufacturing, and the ongoing economic slowdown felt worldwide.

Job growth hit a four-month high in August. Employment at services providers added 184,000 jobs, led by gains of 58,000 in health and education, and followed by 39,000 in trade, transportation, and utilities, and 35,000 gain in professional and business services.  

Goods-producing jobs adding 11,000, led by increases in factory payrolls. Small businesses added 66,000 jobs, mid-sized businesses added 77,000 jobs, and big corporations added 52,000. The only categories which posted losses were natural resources and mining, which showed 2,000 fewer jobs created, and information services in which there were 6,000 fewer jobs.

A separate report released on Thursday indicated job-cut announcements rose 39% in August 2019 compared to August 2018. However, recessionary pressures that worried analysts earlier in the year are considered to be under control for the time being.

Expert Outlook

“Businesses are holding firm on their payrolls despite the slowing economy,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Hiring has moderated, but layoffs remain low. As long as this continues recession will remain at bay.”

"In August we saw a rebound in private-sector employment," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. "This is the first time in the last 12 months that we have seen balanced  job growth across small, medium and large-sized companies." 

Market Reaction

Spot gold last traded at $1,537.29/oz, down -0.84% with a high of $1,556.86/oz and a low of $1,535.22/oz. The news that private-sector employment greatly surpassed expectations for August has put pressure on gold prices, amplified by the news of flat jobless claims applications and the announcement that US-China trade talks are due to reopen in October, impacting risk appetite in the financial markets.