Economy Gains 201,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.9%

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:






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.