For the third month in a row, the unemployment rate remained 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the 18th straight month of the unemployment rate being at or below 4 percent. Moreover, the employment of nonfarm payrolls rose by 130,000, short of economists’ predictions of 150,000. Despite missing expectations, job growth has averaged 158,000 per month so far this year. Here’s a deep dive of the latest jobs report.
Larger wages, fewer unemployment claims
In August, the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6 million people. Additionally, average hourly earnings continued to increase by $0.11 to $28.11. That’s following an $0.18 raise over the last two months. Over the previous 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent.
While wages have steadily grown this year, the number of unemployment claims have declined. According to the Department of Labor, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 17 was 1,639,605, a decrease of 4,710 from the previous week. That’s over 9,000 fewer claims than this time last year. Thus, on average workers are making more money, and fewer people are receiving unemployment benefits.
Jobs Report revisions
In June, job gains were revised down by 15,000 from 193,000 to 178,000. And for July, jobs were revised down by 5,000 from 164,000 to 159,000. That equates to a net decrease of 20,000 job gains from the previous two months. However, over the last three months, job gains have averaged 156,000.
Job gains by industry
The federal government saw a steep increase last month with 28,000 open jobs. This was primarily due to a massive hiring surge of 25,000 temporary workers to prepare for the 2020 Census.
The healthcare industry came in a close second with 24,000 job gains over the month. And over the last 12 months, healthcare added 392,000 jobs. Ambulatory healthcare services were once again, the most significant contributor of this with 12,000 jobs.
The financial sector added another 15,000 jobs, with roughly half of those jobs occurring in insurance carriers and related activities. Over the year, the financial sector has added 111,000 jobs.
Once again, the professional and business services industry continued to climb upwards with 37,000 job gains. This industry has averaged 34,000 jobs throughout the year, largely due to computer systems design.
Employment in social assistance propelled upwards again with 13,000 jobs. Social assistance gob gains have averaged over 100,000 jobs over the last six months.
Retail trade (-11,000) and mining (-6,000) both saw declines over the month. Over the year, retail trade has lost 80,000 jobs.
All other industries, including construction, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality saw little change over the month.
Finding talent in today’s tight market
Nearly every American who wants to work can easily find a job in today’s market. As more Americans re-enter the workforce and stop receiving unemployment benefits, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates to fill your critical roles. If you need assistance navigating the tight labor market, why not partner with a recruiter that specializes in your industry? Let’s work together to find the talent your team needs to keep production running smoothly.