The U.S. economy added only 142,000 non-farm payroll jobs in August, the smallest increase since December, falling lower than the average monthly gain of 212,000 over the past 12 months and missing the estimate of 235,000 from briefing.com while the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent in July.
Jobs in professional and business services saw the highest gain with 47,000 jobs added in August followed by the health care industry which had increases of 34,000 and construction employment with 20,000 jobs.
The labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent.
The job revisions for July and June were lower by 28,000.
June was revised from 298,000 to 267,000 while July was revised from 209,000 to 212,000
In August, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the sixth consecutive month.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls moved higher by 6 cents in August to $24.53.
For the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.1 percent.
Yesterday the ADP employment report for August also came in lower than expected and missed estimates with 204,000 private jobs created versus 220,000 the market was expecting.
Despite the miss, the overall trend in 2014 for private job growth has been positive.
August’s 204,000 ADP job increase marks the fifth straight month of employment gains over 200,000.
“August marks the fifth straight month of employment gains above 200,000, continuing an encouraging trend for the U.S. labor market” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and CEO of ADP in a statement after the release of yesterday’s ADP report.
Yesterday the ISM report for August showed economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in August for the 15th straight month.
The August PMI registered 59 percent, the highest reading since March 2011, and an increase of 1.9 percent points from July’s reading of 57.1 percent.
According to second estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. GDP grew at 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014.
In the first quarter, GDP decreased 2.1 percent largely due to the cold weather across much of the United States