Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment
rate remained at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in August, and
the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for the third month in a row. Both measures have
shown little movement over the year, on net. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent),
adult women (4.5 percent),teenagers (15.7 percent), Whites (4.4 percent),
Blacks (8.1 percent), Asians (4.2percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed
little change in August. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 2.0 million in August. These individuals accounted for 26.1 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.)
Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population
ratio, at 59.7 percent, were unchanged in August. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.1 million in August. These
individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, 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, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the
same as 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 576,000 discouraged workers in August, little
different 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 1.1 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 rose by 151,000 in August, compared with an average
monthly gain of 204,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend up in
several service-providing industries. (See table B-1.)
Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month
(+34,000). Over the year, the industry has added 312,000 jobs.
Social assistance added 22,000 jobs over the month, with most of the growth in individual
and family services (+17,000).
In August, employment in professional and technical services edged up (+20,000), about
in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+24,000).
Financial activities employment continued on an upward trend in August (+15,000), with
a gain in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+6,000). Over the year,
financial activities has added 167,000 jobs.
Health care employment continued to trend up in August (+14,000), but at a slower pace
than the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+39,000). In August, hospitals
added 11,000 jobs, and employment in ambulatory health care services trended up
(+13,000). A job loss in nursing and residential care facilities (-9,000) offset a
gain in July.
Employment in mining continued to trend down in August (-4,000). Since reaching a peak
in September 2014, employment in mining has declined by 223,000, with losses concentrated
in support activities for mining.
Employment in several other industries--including construction, manufacturing, wholesale
trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, temporary help services, and
government--changed little over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour
to 34.3 hours in August. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6
hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.
(See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
3 cents to $25.73. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
increased by 4 cents to $21.64 in August. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down from +292,000 to
+271,000, and the change for July was revised up from +255,000 to +275,000. With these
revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 1,000 less than previously
reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 232,000 per month.
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