August Sees Modest Job Growth

Unemployment Rate Unchanged

JOB GROWTH: The number of new jobs rose in August by 151,000, significantly lower than in the previous two months (271,000 in June and 275,000 in July) and somewhat below many analyst predictions.

TOP INDUSTRIES: In August, employment was up slightly in professional and business services, more so in healthcare—but still slower than in previous months. Hospitality continued to trend up, while the energy sector saw continued—albeit lower—losses. Manufacturing took the biggest hit, moving from job gains the previous month to job losses in August.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, although teens still struggle to find jobs, with an unemployment rate more than triple that for the general population.

WAGES: Salaries rose by three cents in August, bringing the annual average increase down to 2.4 percent.

WORK WEEK: Workers worked less in August, with a drop of .1 hour in the average work week, which now sits at 34.3 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary staffing sector took a slight dip in August, losing 3,100 jobs.

SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? On a month-to-month basis, the slowing of job growth in August may seem disappointing, but August numbers are traditionally lower than preceding months. Overall, the economy continues to add jobs, with average monthly job growth over the past 12 months of 204,000. Whether job growth is labeled moderate or robust, employers continue to face challenges as they search for the best combination of skills, experience and cultural fit to grow their organizations.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, Bloomberg, CNBC, ERE Media, Staffing Industry Analysts, The Wall Street Journal