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The August Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

Posted: September 06, 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly look at the US employment situation and the data for August looks positive. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

Before we get to the August jobs report, let’s revisit July’s US job numbers. Last month, the BLS reported that nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 164,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7% (approximately 6.1 million professionals). A deeper look at the US jobs data and industries hiring in 2019 showed moderate growth in a few areas while others declined or registered no change at all.

  • Professional and technical services – 31,000 jobs added
  • Healthcare – 30,000 jobs added
  • Social assistance – 20,000 jobs added
  • Financial activities – 18,000 jobs added
  • Mining – 5,000 jobs lost
  • Construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and leisure and hospitality – no change

The August jobs report showed total nonfarm payroll employment increasing by 130,000, unemployment holding steady at 3.7%, and the number of unemployed persons decreasing very slightly to 6 million. Here are some other highlights of the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed was unchanged from July’s number, which was 1.2 million and accounts for 19.2 percent of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate registered a small increase and now sits at 63.2 percent.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) increased by 397,000 and now totals 4.4 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $28.11. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent.

August saw promising growth for a few industries hiring in 2019. Professional and business services led the way with 37,000 jobs added in August. The federal government added 28,000 jobs for the month, including 25,000 temporary workers hired for the 2020 Census. Health care added 24,000 jobs, financial activities increased by 15,000 jobs, and social assistance continued an upward trend with 13,000 jobs added in August. Mining employment declined by 6,000 in August, following a loss of 5,000 jobs in July. Key industries like construction, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality saw no change.

Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests the economy is in good shape. Whether you’re looking for top talent or searching for your dream job, there’s still plenty of opportunity out there, and you can find it on iHire.

 

For more information on how the BLS tracks and updates US job numbers and calculates the unemployment rate, check out this informative post on FiveThirtyEight.

Freddie Rohner, iHire
Posted by: Freddie Rohner, iHire
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