Labor Market Sees Continued Growth with Addition of 201,000 Jobs

Unemployment Remains at Near-Record Low 

JOB GROWTH: The pace of job growth accelerated in August, with an increase of 201,000 new jobs. This was in line with the average growth of 196,000 per month over the past 12 months and slightly ahead of the most recent three-month average of 185,000.

TOP INDUSTRIES: Strong growth continued in the professional and business services and healthcare sectors. Transportation and warehousing saw a healthy gain, while manufacturing and retail moved backwards.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent, a near-record low, with more discouraged workers entering the market and more part-timers switching to full-time employment.

WAGES: Payrolls showed excellent forward momentum in August, with average hourly earnings moving from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent on an annual basis, the highest annual increase in nine years.

WORK WEEK: There was no change in the average work week from July to August, remaining at 34.5 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: Growth in temporary employment in August reached 10,000, which was essentially even with July, following a downward adjustment of that figure.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? The big news in the August jobs report was the positive movement in wages. Although still shy of the three percent threshold, paychecks got a little bit healthier in the past month. Overall job growth remained robust with continued low unemployment. As the talent supply tightens further, employers are starting to raise wages to both attract the best job candidates and retain the talent already on the payroll. They are also increasing skills training and career development opportunities to capture and retain the talent they need, as competition grows more heated.

This newsletter references the BLS Report of August activity, released 9/7/18

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, FOX News, USA Today, Bloomberg, CNN.