Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment rose in retail trade and health care but declined in information.
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Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, and the
unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent, changed little in August. The
jobless rate is down from 8.1 percent a year ago. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(7.1 percent), adult women (6.3 percent), teenagers (22.7 percent),
whites (6.4 percent), blacks (13.0 percent), and Hispanics (9.3
percent) showed little change in August. The jobless rate for Asians
was 5.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year
earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27
weeks or more) was about unchanged at 4.3 million. These individuals
accounted for 37.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months,
the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 733,000. (See
The civilian labor force participation rate edged down to 63.2 percent
in August. The employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, was
essentially unchanged. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons
(sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by
334,000 to 7.9 million in August. These individuals were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable
to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In August, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor
force, down by 219,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not
seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force,
wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 866,000 discouraged workers
in August, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are
not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as
school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August, about
in line with the average monthly gain of 184,000 over the prior 12
months. In August, job growth occurred in retail trade and health
care, while employment in information declined. Employment continued
to trend up in food services and drinking places, professional and
business services, and wholesale trade. (See table B-1.)
Retail trade added 44,000 jobs in August and has added 393,000 jobs
over the past 12 months. In August, job growth occurred in clothing
stores (+14,000), food and beverage stores (+12,000), general
merchandise stores (+9,000), and electronics and appliance stores
Employment in health care increased by 33,000 in August. Within the
industry, most of the job growth occurred in ambulatory care
In August, employment in professional and business services continued
to trend up (+23,000). Over the past 12 months, this industry has
added 614,000 jobs. Employment in temporary help services changed
little in August.
Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and
drinking places continued to trend up in August (+21,000). Over the
year, food services and drinking places has added 354,000 jobs.
In August, wholesale trade employment continued to trend up (+8,000).
This industry has added 83,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts rose by
19,000 in August, after declining by 10,000 in July. Auto manufacturers
laid off more workers for model changeover in July than in recent years.
The return of laid-off workers contributed to the increase in August.
Over the past 12 months, auto manufacturers have added 34,000 jobs.
Within information, the motion picture and sound recording industry
lost 22,000 jobs in August, following a gain of 8,000 in July.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging,
construction, transportation and warehousing, financial activities,
and government, showed little or no change in August.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
increased by 0.1 hour in August to 34.5 hours. In manufacturing, the
workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime increased
by 0.2 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private
nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $24.05. Over the year, average
hourly earnings have risen by 52 cents, or 2.2 percent. In August,
average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents to $20.20. (See tables B-3
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised
from +188,000 to +172,000, and the change for July was revised from
+162,000 to +104,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June
and July combined were 74,000 less than previously reported.
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