Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in August, a decrease from July’s downwardly revised figure of 189,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4%, staying within a 10 basis point range in the last five months.
Private service-providing industries added a net 95,000 jobs, led by gains in professional and business services, which added 40,000 jobs during the month, and by the health care and social assistance sector, which added 17,000.
Goods-producing employment rose by 70,000 jobs during the month, as gains in durable goods manufacturing and construction led by both adding 28,000 jobs in August.
The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.9%, the same as in July. Workers unemployed for less than 14 weeks increased by 87,000, while the number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was essentially unchanged and accounted for 24.7% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 448,000, a 128,000 decrease from a year earlier.
Average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $26.39, after a 9-cent increase in July. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5%.