Key Points:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 in August and the unemployment rate rose to 3.8%.
  • Consensus among economists was a gain of 170,000 jobs.
  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down by 80,000, from +185,000 to +105,000, and the change for July was revised down by 30,000, from +187,000 to +157,000.
  • With these revisions, employment in June and July combined is 110,000 lower than previously reported.
  • In August, health care added 71,000 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 40,000 jobs, social assistance increased by 26,000, and construction increased by 22,000.
  • Transportation and warehousing lost 34,000 jobs in August.
  • Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, financial activities, other services, and government.
  • In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.08 to $33.82.
  • The average workweek for all private employees edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours.
  • The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2% to 62.8% after being flat since March and is 0.5% below its February 2020 level.
  • In August, the unemployed population rose to 6.4 million and job openings fell to 8.8 million in July.