The U.S. economy gained 201,000 jobs in August, and unemployment was unchanged at 3.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage growth of 2.9% is tepid for this level of unemployment, and with core inflation just at 2%, the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee should continue to pause its plan to raise interest rates.
In response to the August jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Broadest measure of labor force slack (including part-time workers who want to work full-time and discouraged workers) shows continued improvement. It is nearing levels of the late 1990s. The big improvement is for those seeking full-time work. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/4I4KwVgYPq— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 7, 2018
The share of Black workers employed (EPOP) continues its path of recovery that began in 2011. On strength of rising labor force participation and falling unemployment rates. @AFLCIO @cbtu_40 @APRI_National @JointCenter pic.twitter.com/6m0h6TQgKD— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 7, 2018
Changes in employment from July to August show losing industries: manufacturing (-3,000), information (-6,000) and retail trade (-5,900). @UAW @MachinistsUnion @steelworkers @UFCW Note a concern here, manufacturing jobs are now average (not above average) wages pic.twitter.com/vqrglq2YY4— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 7, 2018
In case you missed this report on #minimumwage from @Sly21 yesterday. Today's #JobsReport shows continued strength of employment in food services (up 17,500 in August and 213,100 over the year) despite minimum wage gains. @AFLCIO https://t.co/Q41q3Dufik— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 7, 2018
The continued slow recovery in local government employment, especially for our teaching corps, means choking off our most important investment--the education of our children. Remember this in November! @AFSCME @AFTunion @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/KSwXJEcxbo— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 7, 2018
Last month’s biggest job gains were in professional and business services (53,000), health care (33,000), construction (23,000), wholesale trade (22,000), transportation and warehousing (20,000), and mining (6,000). Job losses were seen in information (-6,000), retail trade (-5,900) and manufacturing (-3,000). Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.8%), blacks (6.3%), Hispanics (4.7%), adult women (3.6%), adult men (3.5%), whites (3.4%) and Asians (3.0%) showed little or no change in August.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged in August and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.