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Job creation increase misses the mark in August

Slowdown not caused by Hurricane Harvey

Job creation increased in August, but not nearly as much as previously predicted by ADP’s National Employment Report.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in August, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down significantly from ADP and Moody’s Analytics’ report, which predicted jobs would increase 237,000 in August.

This is also down significantly from last month’s increase of 209,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate remained little changed at 4.4% or 7.1 million unemployed. The rate declined earlier this year and hovered between 4.3% and 4.4% since April.

The labor force participation rate, at 62.9%, was unchanged in August and has shown little movement over the past year.

While the employment report is lower than expected, the bureau explained the numbers were not affected by Hurricane Harvey, which displaced thousands of families and caused billions of dollars in damages.

From the report:

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.

Here are some of the areas which showed job growth:

  • Manufacturing increased by 36,000
  • Construction increased by 28,000
  • Employment in professional and technical services increased by 22,000
  • Employment in health care increased by 20,000
  • Mining increased by 7,000
  • Leisure and hospitality increased by 9,000

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

While the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours, average hourly earnings increased three cents to $26.39 in July.

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