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Published: Sat, September 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Job growth slows in August

Job growth slows in August

USA job growth slowed in August as employers added 156,000 jobs, according to official data, but even that decreased pace suggests that businesses remain confident in an economy now in its ninth year of recovery from the global financial crisis.

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.

He also noted that the downward revisions to the prior months were entirely in government jobs, while the private sector actually saw a net gain of 10,000 new positions.

By industry, manufacturing payrolls topped expectations, rising by 36,000 in August, more than the 8,000 that was expected by economists. Among the winners were construction, which added 28,000 jobs, health care, which added 20,200 jobs, and auto plants, which added 13,700 jobs.

The unemployment rate had little change, ticking up from 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent. The unemployment rate for those with bachelor's degree held at steady at 2.4 percent, while unemployment among high-school graduates ticked up by 0.6 percent.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.9%, the same as in July.

Trump has pledged to add 25 million jobs over the next decade - a goal economists say is unrealistic. In the first eight months of last year, 1.55 million jobs were created, while in the first eight months of this year, the total is 1.4 million. Temporary help services employment was almost flat in August, adding 100 jobs.

Employment in professional and technical services continued to trend up in August (+22,000) and added 262,000 jobs over the last 12 months. Retail stores and auto dealers added just 800 jobs after having lost 1,900 in July. Wages were up 2.5 per cent from a year ago.

Brady said he was pleased the economy grew by 3 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2017, and that his committee's efforts to cut taxes could boost American hiring.

Wage growth remains stubbornly weak: Only 2.5% over the past year.

The average workweek for all employees was unchanged month over month at 34.5 hours.

Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $26.39, after a 9-cent increase in July.

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