The U.S. economy added 151,000 non-farm payroll jobs in August, missing the 180,000 consensus estimate from briefing.com and below an average
monthly gain of 204,000 over the prior 12 months, according to today’s job report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During the past 3 months, job gains have been more robust and averaged 232,000 per month.
The unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in August.
Job revisions for June and July was just -1,000 lower than first reported.
June was revised down from +292,000 to +271,000 while July was revised up from +255,000 to +275,000.
Job gains were highest in the food services and drinking establishments (34,000) followed by social assistance (22,000).
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
3 cents in August to $25.73.
For the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours in August.
The labor force participation rate was 62.8 percent in August which was unchanged from July.
On Wednesday private payroll processor ADP reported that 177,000 private sector jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August, slightly higher than the 170,000 consensus forecast from briefing.com.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a released statement, “The American job machine continues to hum along. Job creation remains strong, with most industries and companies of all sizes adding solidly to their payrolls. The U.S. economy will soon be at full employment.”
“Job growth in August was stable and consistent with levels from previous months as consumer conditions improve,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute in a released statement.
The Federal Reserve pays closest attention to inflation and employment data when shaping monetary policy.
On Monday the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, Core PCE index (minus food and energy), was mostly unchanged over the month and came in at 1.6 percent in July which is still below the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.
In the Fed’s minutes from their July meeting, Committee members at the Fed noted the pickup in inflation during the second quarter of 2016.
“Growth in real personal consumption expenditures (PCE), appeared to have picked up in the second quarter.”
The U.S. economy grew at a 1.1 percent pace in the 2nd quarter of 2016, as measured by GDP in the 2nd estimate, below market expectations.
Committee members at the Fed will convene from September 20-21st for the Fed’s September FOMC meeting.