Job Growth in August Was Slow Compared to Previous Months

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Source: 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.

The professional and business services sector added 47,000 jobs in August, for a total gain of 639,000 jobs. Several subsectors showed promising gains, such as administration and support services (+22,700), temporary help services (+13,000) and management of companies and enterprises (+7,800).

Taking into account the revisions from the past three months, overall job growth has averaged 207,000 new jobs.

The civilian labor force participation rate changed little in August, at 62.8 percent, and has essentially remained the same since April of this year. In August, the employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the third consecutive month but is up by 0.4 percent from a year earlier.

One positive statistic from the August report was that the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 192,000, bringing the new total to 3.0 million. Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.3 million.