August Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Remains At Historic Low

US Added 156000 Jobs in August; Jobless Rate at 4.4%

The US Labor Department said that 156,000 jobs were added in August, fewer than the 179,000 that economists had been expecting and the weakest increase in three months. Job... July added 189,000 jobs, as opposed to the 209,000 originally reported, while June saw gains of 210,000, instead of 231,000.

Average hourly earnings changed little in the last month, ticking up 3 cents, following an increase of 9 cents in July. August's gains were far more than the 75,000 to 100,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

Employment in the fields of construction, professional and trade services, mining and health care each rose in August, continuing a five-month trend.

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The nation's resilient labor market showed signs of slowing last month as hiring eased, the unemployment rate ticked up and wage growth remained subdued, the government said Friday.

Wage growth was also a disappointment, with average hourly earnings rising 0.1% over the prior month and 2.5% over past year.

The unemployment rate subsequently inched up to 4.4% in August from 4.3% in July.

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August's moderation in employment growth, which pushed payroll gains below the 176,000 monthly average for this year likely reflects a seasonal quirk as well as a dearth of qualified workers.

Yet even after the creation of millions of new jobs during the current recovery and the lowest unemployment rate in a decade and a half, worker wages still aren't rising all that rapidly.

Hispanic unemployment inched up to 5.2 percent, teenage unemployment rose by 0.4 to 13.6 percent. August was the 83rd straight month of job gains.

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The figures made for disappointing reading for Donald Trump, who hasput jobs and wage growth among the top priorities for his administration. Retailers hired just 800 workers. Average weekly hours were actually down, sufficiently so as to drive average weekly earnings down from last month's report. Despite ostensibly tighter labour markets, wage growth has been stuck at 2.5% over the last 5 months, similar to the 2.6% average increase a year ago. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 2.10%, the lowest level all year, before rebounding to 2.13%, essentially unchanged, according to Tradeweb.


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