Friday, 22 September, 2017

Jobless rates up across racial groups in August

Luke Sharrett  Bloomberg Luke Sharrett Bloomberg
Juana Turner | 02 September, 2017, 00:43

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the US economy added 156,000 jobs in August, which is down from June and July totals, and fell short of expectations. The figure for July was revised down to 189,000 from 209,000, while the June number was reduced to 210,000 from 231,000.

As a result, the average monthly employment gain for 2017 has been 176,000.

Private service-providing industries added a net 95,000 jobs, led by gains in professional and business services, which added 40,000 jobs during the month, and by the health care and social assistance sector, which added 17,000.

In August, the average hourly earnings rose by 3 cents to 26.39 US dollars, after rising by 9 cents in the previous month.

August's underemployment rate (the U-6 unemployment rate), which includes those out of work and those working part-time but who would like to have full-time work, stood at 8.6%, unchanged from July.

Mining continued to add jobs in August (+7,000), with all of the growth in support activities for mining. Temporary help services employment was almost flat in August, adding 100 jobs. The overall unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in July.

The growth missed expectations, as analysts had expected the economists would report approximately 200,000 new jobs in August. The government's preliminary estimate of jobs in late summer is often low at first glance because so many people are on vacation. Retailers hired just 800 workers.

Brady said he was pleased the economy grew by 3 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2017, and that his committee's efforts to cut taxes could boost American hiring.

Pay usually rise 3% to 4% a year at this stage of an economic recovery, but a slew of factors including global competition and the retirement of higher-paid baby boomers may be holding wages back. The wage growth number is higher than inflation, but right at the level at which it has been for years. The average workweek for all employees slipped a fraction to 34.4 hours last month. The average hourly wage crept up only a few pennies to $26.39, but a drop in the length of the average work week means the average worker's weekly paycheck actually got slightly smaller.

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