Job Growth Slowed, unemployment Inched Up in August

After hours

An extended a run of modest labor market gains this year has produced little acceleration in wage growth or inflation, underscoring a puzzle that complicates Federal Reserve policy decisions looming in the months ahead.

The unemployment rate crept up to 4.4% from the 16-year low of 4.3% reached last month, as fewer adults reported that they had a job during the month. BLS also upwardly revised manufacturing jobs created in July by 10,000, making it a total 26,000 increase for that month. The rebuilding effort will add to construction and other jobs, but only over time as it will take time for the insurance money and government aid to get to the storm's victims. After-all, it has been a decade since the job market was last at full-employment, and numerous Millennials that joined the workforce during this time don't know how to ask for a raise.

The jobless figure is calculated from a separate household survey, and by this measure the economy did not generate enough new work opportunities in August to meet the growth in the working-age population. The labor force participation rate held at 62.9 percent, as 77,000 individuals entered the labor force.

Yet even after the creation of millions of new jobs during the current recovery and the lowest unemployment rate in a decade and a half, worker wages still aren't rising all that rapidly.

Across the economy, there was a net gain of 156,000 jobs, which was tens of thousands less than the prior month.

Private employment rose by 165,000 in the latest month, below the 173,000 forecast, and far below the 237,000 reported this week by payroll services firm ADP. August was the 83rd straight month of job gains.

One of the leading sources of job growth last month was manufacturing, which added 36,000.

The US economy grew at an annualised pace of 3 per cent in the second quarter, its fastest pace since the beginning of 2015.

More concerning to fed officials than slower job growth is likely to be the stalling out of wage growth year-to-date in 2017. The average workweek for all employees slipped a fraction to 34.4 hours last month. Just a few years ago it was closer to 1.5 percent.

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