August brought fewer new jobs than expected, but several industries saw steady growth

Job-Market-TodayThe United States generated 142,000 new jobs in August, breaking the six-month streak of +200,000 job gains. This number comes in well below what economists were expecting, however, August is historically a slower month for job growth. The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 6.2 percent to 6.1 percent.  During the past year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have declined by 1.1 percentage points, and 1.7 million, respectively.

Revisions to prior months showed that both June and July had seen 28,000 fewer new jobs than was previously reported. The June payroll number was revised from +298,000 to +267,000 and the July numbers were revised from +209,000 to +212,000.

Looking deeper into the BLS “Employment Situation – August 2014” report, here are some figures on job creation in specific industries:
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The latest BLS regional and metro-area unemployment figures


Both regional and state unemployment rates saw little change in the United States metropolitan areas, according to the latest BLS “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report. In July, the national unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.2 percent – 1.1 percentage points lower than July of last year. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have seen unemployment rate decreases over the past year.

Looking deeper into the July metro area numbers, Bismarck, North Dakota once again led the nation with the lowest unemployment rate — now at 2.4 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from June. Of the 372 metropolitan areas, 15 had jobless rates of at least 10 percent, whereas 68 areas had rates of less than 5.0 percent.
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Job growth in August was slow compared to previous months

Job-Market-TodaySource: BLS “The Employment Situation report – August 2014”

The United States saw an additional 142,000 jobs created in nonfarm payroll employment during the month of August, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment report.  Both professional and business services and healthcare saw the highest employment gains.

The total number of job gains came in under what economists expected, as many had forecasted another month of 200,000+ new jobs. Traditionally, August has always been a lower month in payroll additions, and often has a high number of revisions, so experts are noting that changes could be in store in next month’s report.

The unemployment rate changed little – dropping from 6.2 to 6.1 percent from the month prior. August breaks the six-month streak of 200,000+ job gains, but over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons are down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

The June report was revised from +298,000 to +267,000, and the July payroll was revised from +209,000 to +212,000—28,000 fewer jobs than reported.

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Filling The Talent Pool: Industries & places that are hiring

Jobs, at long last, appear to be back.

The U.S. economy added 298,000 jobs in June and another 209,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past six months, the economy has added 1.5 million jobs, marking the strongest six-month stretch for hiring since 2006. Meanwhile, job openings in the U.S. recently rose to the highest level in five years.

“It feels to me like the job market is humming,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the Houston Chronicle.

This is very good news for sure. Yet, good news that comes with a unique challenge. As the demand for workers grows, filling the talent pool becomes increasingly difficult.
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How businesses can help close the skills gap

The-skills-gap-is-realAddressing the ongoing skills gap in the job market is a complex challenge that requires buy-in from every party involved: educators, job seekers, educational institutions, and employers and businesses as well. Placing the burden of responsibility on educators isn’t a sustainable solution, though it is true that these institutions require reform and adjustment, especially earlier on in the educational system. To see positive change more rapidly, businesses would be wise to undertake some of the responsibility in closing the skills gap. Here are a few things that employers can start implementing to get job seekers up to speed in the short-term and contribute to closing the skills gap in the long-term:
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July’s job creation less than expected, but still steady

Job-Market-TodayIn July, employment gains were widespread across sectors. The industries with the highest gains were professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade and construction. Here are some key sector highlights from the BLS “The Employment Situation – July 2014” report:

Professional and Business Services

The industry that showed the highest job growth in July was professional and business services, adding 47,000 jobs to the economy, making the year-over-year total 648,000 jobs. Subsectors such as architectural and engineering services added 8,800 jobs (1.42 million total workforce), administrative and support services created 14,900 jobs (8.37 million total workforce) and temporary help services generated 8,500 jobs (2.88 million total workforce). In total, 19.23 million Americans were employed within this sector last month.
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