Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August (coming in slightly below consensus expectations) and the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.3 percent. On the household side of the report, both the civilian labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio edged down modestly to 63.2 percent and 58.6 percent, respectively. This represents a decline of 312,000 jobs in the civilian labor force and 115,000 in the number of employed persons.
On the establishment side of the report, steep downward revisions to June and July’s figures combine for a total of 74,000 less jobs than previously reported. This brings the average employment growth over the past three months down to 148,000 jobs per month, but employment growth over the past year has averaged about 184,000. Sectors showing the most improvement were retail trade, up 44,000, and healthcare, up 38,300. Declines were reported in information services, down by 18,000, which is the largest decline since August 2011; nondurable goods, down 8,000; and financial services, which fell by 5,000. Notably, government employment increased by 17,000 and manufacturing increased by 14,000. The average workweek for all employees increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours and the average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 5 cents to $24.05, which is an improvement of 2.5 percent over the past year.