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Employment Blog September 2017

This information is from the U S Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, health care, and mining. Employment growth has averaged 176,000 per month thus far this year, about in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016. Charts 1 and 2 detail this information below.




























It is important to note that Hurricane Harvey had no discernable effect on the employment and unemployment data for August. Household survey data collection was completed before the storm. Establishment survey data collection for this report was largely completed prior to the storm, and collection rates were within normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas.

In August, employment in manufacturing increased by 36,000. The industry has added 155,000 jobs since a recent low in November 2016. Motor vehicles and parts (+14,000), fabricated metal products (+5,000), and computer and electronic products (+4,000) added jobs in August.

Construction employment rose by 28,000 in August, following little change over the previous 5 months. In August, employment edged up among residential specialty trade contractors (+12,000).

Employment in professional and technical services continued to trend up in August (+22,000), in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Employment in health care also continued to trend up in August (+20,000). Within the industry, hospital employment edged up (+6,000). Over the past year, health care has added 328,000 jobs.

In August, employment in mining rose by 7,000, with all of the job growth in support activities for mining. Mining has added 62,000 jobs since a recent employment low in October 2016.

Employment in food services and drinking places changed little in August (+9,000), following an increase of 53,000 in July. Over the year, employment in the industry has risen by 283,000.

Employment in other major industries–wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and arehousing, information, financial activities, and government–showed little change over the month.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $26.39 in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent, from July 2016 to July.

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.3 percent from July to August, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings being more than offset by a 0.4-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.6 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek.  Real average hourly earnings increased 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from August 2016 to August 2017. The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent increase in the average workweek resulted in a 0.9-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.  Chart 3 details this information below.




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