156000 jobs created in August, as 2017 job gains lag behind 2016

156000 jobs created in August, as 2017 job gains lag behind 2016

156000 jobs created in August, as 2017 job gains lag behind 2016

The world's largest economy added 156,000 net new positions for the month, the Labor Department reported, which was far fewer than expected.

The same report said job growth numbers for June and July have been revised down by a combined 41,000.

Employers in the USA added a less-than-expected 156,000 net new jobs.

The leading source of job growth was in manufacturing, which added 36,000 jobs.

August was a big month for manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, health care and mining.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics summary said the unemployment rate rose in August to 4.4 percent, from the previous 4.3 percent. Thus, we're in the odd situation of enjoying low unemployment - 4.4 percent is the official figure for August 2017 - while wages remain pretty flat. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 65 cents, or 2.5%.

August's moderation in employment growth, which pushed payroll gains below the 176,000 monthly average for this year likely reflects a seasonal quirk as well as a dearth of qualified workers. Employment growth has always been expected to slow, though, as slack in labour markets is absorbed.

The department said Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas, has no "discernable" effect on payrolls as the disaster struck after the survey period for the August employment report.

The economy expanded at a healthy 3% annual pace in the April-June quarter, a substantial increase from a weak 1.2% in the first three months of the year.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled in August that the Fed may raise its benchmark rates, but the underwhelming jobs number may cause a change in thinking. Retailers hired just 800 workers. Specifically, policymakers have been looking for signs of accelerated wage growth, which has been stuck around 2.5 percent for most of the year. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.12. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 2.10%, the lowest level all year, before rebounding to 2.13%, essentially unchanged, according to Tradeweb.

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