The unemployment rate edged down from 7.4pc in July to 7.3pc in August – its lowest rate since 2008 – but the change was driven by people dropping out of the labour force rather than any increase in paid employment.
According to Labour Department figures released on Friday, the number of people with jobs fell by 112,000 in August. The data do not go into detail about why specific industries suffered, but it is thought that a temporary hiatus in the pornography industry had a significant impact on the figures.
The adult film business was brought to a standstill for 12 days in August, after one of its actors was found to have HIV. The jobs data do not drill down into such specific industries, but the wider movie business lost 22,000 paid jobs – around 6pc of its total workforce.
Everyone in that porn business is a self employed contractor. And self-employed contractors do not turn up in the jobs numbers in that manner.