August Jobs Report: Economy Adds 201000 Jobs; 3.9 Percent Unemployment

Sep 10, 2018, 00:45
August Jobs Report: Economy Adds 201000 Jobs; 3.9 Percent Unemployment

Following a month in which mining employment saw a slight decline, the industry experienced an increase of about 6,000 jobs in August, according to data released September 7 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

August's job creation figure was higher than July's downwardly revised total of 147,000.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 191,000 jobs compared to the addition of 157,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Economists had expected an increase of 5,000 jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to be 5.9 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. The average hourly wage increased by 2.9 percent over the a year ago.

That unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in August, down from 8.6 percent a year ago. The year-over-year increase was 2.8 percent in July of 2016.

The job gains for August were roughly in line with the average for the last 12 months, which is 196,000.

Government payrolls decreased by 3,000. Measures of new orders and production surged, and factories added jobs at a faster pace than in July.

The US and China have slapped retaliatory tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since early July.

The labor participation rate edged down two-tenths of a point to 62.7 percent.

August's job gains were driven by professional and business services as well as health care and wholesale trade.

Wage growth has been the labor market's Achilles heel and last month's increase fit in with economists' expectations that inflation will continue to bounce around the Fed's 2 percent target for the remainder of this year and into early 2019.

In terms of the larger context, this morning's data points to 1.65 million jobs created so far in 2018, which is quite good, and which is an improvement on the totals from the first eight months of 2016 (1.59 million) and 2017 (1.51 million). Wholesalers added 22,400 jobs.

Stevenson said economists will be watching whether employers are more willing to hire those groups of people given the limited number of available workers.

Job gains for August were spread out among industry sectors. That gauge includes part-time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren't actively looking.

USA job growth accelerated in August and wages notched their largest annual increase in more than nine years, strengthening views that the economy was so far weathering the Trump administration's escalating trade war with China.

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