Roanoke Jobs Report

August 2018 Jobs Report

Jobs Added

Metro +4,800
  • Month Over Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 3,367
  • Year Over Year: +1.4%
State +4,800
  • Month Over Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 3,367
  • Year Over Year: +1.4%
National +201,000
  • Month Over Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 185,333
  • Year Over Year: +1.6%

Unemployment Rate

Metro 3.0%
  • Month Over Month: -0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 3.1%
  • Year Over Year: -0.7%
State 3.0%
  • Month Over Month: -0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 3.1%
  • Year Over Year: -0.7%
National 3.9%
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 3.93%
  • Year Over Year: -0.5%

5 Things to know about the national job report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reported August’s unemployment rate remained strong at 3.9% with 201,000 jobs added. This outpaced economists’ predictions of about 190,000 job additions and makes August the 95th consecutive month of job growth.

Regionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down the state and metro unemployment rates one month behind the national breakdown. Those numbers will be released mid-month every month.

Average hourly earnings rose by 10 cents in August, totaling the past 12 months’ increases to 77 cents, or 2.9% growth. While the lack of wage pressure has been the theme of the past year, it appears steady wage growth may become the new mainstay.

Our own Senior Vice President, Amy Glaser, spoke to The New York Times about the recent spikes, stating “Clients are talking in terms of dollars instead of cents for wage increases now.” As employees often jump from one employer to another during the busy holiday season due to competitive pay increases, employers are trying to avoid high turnover rates by both starting seasonal hiring earlier, and by offering higher starting salaries.

Here are 5 other things to know about August’s jobs report:

1. Back to School: As teachers and other employees returned to work in August after a break during the summer, it’s possible we’ll see August’s job gains revised by as many as 40,000 jobs, according to USA Today. Seasonal variations are known to take a toll on the accuracy of The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s reports, as well as factors like extreme weather.

2. Skills Gap: While wages saw a spike in August, job fills for specialized skills did not. According to The New York Times, there continues to be a severe labor shortage for jobs requiring licenses or certificates. We recently produced our own White Paper on this topic, after surveying Best-in-Class companies about how they were handling this issue. Download it here.

3. Investing in Training: In addition to pay rate increases, employers are also devoting more money to training, according to our SVP, Amy Glaser – specifically in the call center space. With the prevalence of texting and social media impairing customer service agents’ skill sets, call centers are funding typing and professional telephone style courses for their employees for free in hopes of both upskilling them and attracting them with the opportunity for career development and growth.

4. Manufacturing Lull: Despite job growth in nearly every other industry category, manufacturing lost approximately 3,000 jobs in August, which some experts are pointing to rising costs, weak demand, rising trade tensions, and competition on a global scale as factors to blame. In July, the Trump administration tariffed approximately $34 billion on Chinese imports, with a proposed list of another $200 billion in tariffs in the works.

5. Healthy Health Care: Health care and social assistance rose by 33,000 in August. The industry has increased by 301,000 over the year, with ambulatory health care services accounting for 21,000 jobs in August, and hospitals accounting for 8,000.

Local Industry Job Growth from the B.L.S.

  • From Last Month: -0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 154
  • From Last Year: +1.1%
  • From Last Month: -0.6%
  • 3 Month Average: 128
  • From Last Year: +4.0%
  • From Last Month: +0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 107
  • From Last Year: +0.7%

U.S. Job Growth for All Sectors

Local Job Reports cannot vouch for the data or analyses derived from these data after the data have been retrieved from