US Economy Generated 156000 Jobs In August, Short Of Estimates

US Added 156000 Jobs in August; Jobless Rate at 4.4%

The national unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%, staying within a 10 basis point range in the last five months. August was the 83rd consecutive month of job growth in the USA economy.

The report comes as southeast Texas begins recovery efforts following historic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, but the BLS said the hurricane had no discernible effect on the employment and unemployment data for August.

Bespoke Investment Group noted ahead of Friday's report that along with September and March, August has had the lowest percentage of job report "beats" - that is, reports which top Wall Street estimates - during the current economic expansion.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 58.8 percent last month from 56.3 percent in July. But the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a marked slowdown on the previous month, with a rise of 156,000 jobs. Employment growth has averaged 176,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average monthly gain in 2016 (+187,000).

The leading source of job growth was in manufacturing, which added 36,000 jobs.

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There were bright spots in the August jobs report.

BLS Revisions- The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +231,000 to +210,000, and the change for July was revised from +209,000 to +189,000. Professional and business services saw the biggest gains in August, with payrolls in this sector rising by 40,000.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 5.3 million in August and has shown little movement in recent months. An additional 28,000 jobs came from construction and 20,200 from the health care sector.

As for what all those workers are getting paid - wages remain in a "hold" pattern, with barely a gain seen all year. The average hourly wage crept up only a few pennies to $26.39, but a drop in the length of the average work week means the average worker's weekly paycheck actually got slightly smaller. Specifically, policymakers have been looking for signs of accelerated wage growth, which has been stuck around 2.5 percent for most of the year.

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