Employment

U.S. Unemployment Rate for August Unchanged At 3.7%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. Federal government employment rose, largely due to the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Health care and financial activities also added jobs, while mining lost jobs.
Employees in an office
U.S. Unemployment Rate for August Unchanged At 3.7%

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- AUGUST 2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the hiring of
temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in health
care and financial activities, while mining lost jobs.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household
survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic
characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and
earnings by industry. For more information about the concepts and statistical
methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

In August, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row,
and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.0 million.
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent),
adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks
(5.5 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or
no change in August. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 1.2 million in August and accounted for 20.6 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2 percent in August but has shown
little change, on net, thus far this year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.9
percent, also edged up over the month and is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 397,000 to 4.4 million in August; this
increase follows a decline of similar magnitude in July. These individuals, who would
have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had
been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In August, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
different from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for
a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 467,000 discouraged workers in August,
about unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance
or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 130,000 in August. Job growth has averaged
158,000 per month thus far this year, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.
In August, employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the hiring of
temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Private-sector employment was up by 96,000, with
notable job gains in health care and financial activities and a job loss in mining.
(See table B-1.)

In August, employment in federal government increased by 28,000. The gain was mostly
due to the hiring of 25,000 temporary workers to prepare for the 2020 Census.

Health care added 24,000 jobs over the month and 392,000 over the past 12 months. In
August, employment continued to trend up in ambulatory health care services (+12,000)
and in hospitals (+9,000).

In August, financial activities employment rose by 15,000, with nearly half of the gain
occurring in insurance carriers and related activities (+7,000). Financial activities
has added 111,000 jobs over the year.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in August (+37,000).
Within the industry, employment increased by 10,000 both in computer systems design and
related services and in management of companies and enterprises. Monthly job gains in
professional and business services have averaged 34,000 thus far in 2019, below the
average monthly gain of 47,000 in 2018.
 
Social assistance employment continued on an upward trend in August (+13,000). Within
the industry, individual and family services added 17,000 jobs. Social assistance has
added 100,000 jobs in the last 6 months.

Mining employment declined by 6,000 in August, with nearly all of the loss in support
activities for mining (-5,000).  

Retail trade employment changed little in August (-11,000). General merchandise stores
lost 15,000 jobs over the month and 80,000 jobs over the year. Building material and
garden supply stores added 9,000 jobs over the month.

Employment showed little change over the month in construction, manufacturing, transportation
and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality. Job growth in these industries has moderated
thus far in 2019 compared with 2018.

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
11 cents to $28.11, following 9-cent gains in both June and July. Over the past 12 months,
average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. In August, average hourly earnings
of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents to $23.59.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)
 
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour
to 34.4 hours in August. In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.2 hour to
40.6 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek of private-
sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.
(See tables B-2 and B-7.)
 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down by 15,000 from
+193,000 to +178,000, and the change for July was revised down by 5,000 from +164,000 to
+159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 20,000
less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received
from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 156,000 per
month over the last 3 months.



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