Job Growth Slowed, Unemployment Inched Up in August

(CN) — Job growth slowed in August as employers added 156,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate inched up to 4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

The same report said job growth numbers for June and July have been revised down by a combined 41,000.

As a result, the average monthly employment gain for 2017 has been 176,000. August was the 83rd straight month of job gains.

The leading source of job growth in August was in manufacturing, which added 36,000 jobs. Another 28,000 jobs came from construction.

All in all, the report suggests the job market remains healthy even though the economy has grown at a sluggish 2.1 percent annual rate during the first six months of 2017.

While the jobs numbers remain strong, despite the late summer dip, average hourly pay has risen just 2.5 percent over the 12 months ending in August.

Despite the slowdown in job creation, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said “this month’s jobs report reflects the continued economic strength and optimism spreading across the United States. Since January, 1.2 million jobs have been added to the economy.”

“Multiple economic sectors showed job growth in August, including 36,000 manufacturing, 28,000 construction, and 6,000 mining and logging jobs,” Acosta said. “The breadth of job gains across manufacturing sub-industries is at a 20-year high; more than 70 percent of manufacturing sub-industries added jobs in August. These family-sustaining jobs are the foundation of the American Dream.”

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