August labor report: 201000 more jobs, and pay keeps pace

Roman Schwartz
September 10, 2018

The payroll gain ends a seven-year streak where the first reading for August has been below the median analyst estimate. The government now says employers added 50,000 fewer jobs in those two months combined than it had previously estimated. They increased payrolls by 18,000 jobs in July. The rate of increase, taking the average of the last three months compared with the prior three months, is slightly more rapid at 3.06 percent. June's jobs numbers fell from 248,000 to 208,000, while July's declined from 157,000 to 147,000 in July. Most industries expanded, with particular job growth in health care, education, business and professional services, hospitality and construction.

Not all the economic news has been positive.

Manufacturing lost 3,000 jobs, which is surprising given other signs of strength in the manufacturing sector.

Taken as a whole, the data points to a job market that remains resilient even after almost a decade of economic expansion and even with the threat of tariffs and counter-tariffs on imports and exports looming over many United States employers that rely on global trade.

Labor Department officials said employment opportunities increased in many sectors, including healthcare, mining and transportation. That's the fastest annual gain since June 2009, when the Great Recession ended.

US government bond prices fell Friday after a Labor Department report showed that wages rose more than expected in August.

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In August, factories expanded at their quickest pace in 14 years, according to a survey of purchasing managers. Still, rising inflation, which also reached 2.9 percent in July from a year earlier, has offset that gain.

USA employers added more jobs than forecast in August, and wages increased at their fastest pace since the Great Recession, a government report showed on Friday.

Job growth in August was strong. Wholesalers added 22,400 jobs.

Government employment fell 3,000 last month. With job openings exceeding the number of people seeking work, and with initial jobless claims at their lowest level since 1969, the labor market is still largely in good shape.

A wider measure of unemployment - that includes discouraged workers who have given up their job searches and part-time employees who prefer full-time positions - dropped from 7.5% to 7.4%, lowest since April 2001.

US 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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