U.S. job growth in August

U.S. jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The report highlighted an increase in total nonfarm payroll employment by 156,000 in August.  This resulted in the unemployment rate being 4.4%, and the number of unemployed persons totalling 7.1 million according to the Bureau. The report further states, “employment growth has averaged 176,000 per month thus far this year, about in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.”  The job gains in August occurred in professional and technical services, healthcare, mining, manufacturing and construction.

In August, construction employment rose by 28,000, after showing little change over the prior 5 months. Employment among residential specialty trade contractors edged up by 12,000 over the month. According to the Bureau, “employment in professional and technical services continued to trend up in August (+22,000) and has grown by 262,000 over the last 12 months. In August, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+8,000).”

Health care employment continued on an upward trend over the month (+20,000) and has risen by 328,000 over the year. Employment in hospitals rose by 6,000. Mining continued to swell jobs in August with 7,000, with all of the growth in support activities for mining. Employment in food services and drinking places changed slightly in August (+9,000), following an increase of 53,000 in July. Over the year, the industry has added approximately 283,000 jobs. The report also highlighted employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, “showed little change over the month”.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also insisted that Hurricane Harvey had no, “discernable effect on the employment and unemployment data for August. Household survey data collection was completed before the storm. Establishment survey data collection for this news release was largely completed prior to the storm, and collection rates were within normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas.”


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