The U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, wages increased and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%. That’s higher than the 185,000 consensus forecast and in line with the average monthly gain of 196,000 over the prior 12 months.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.7%, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.3%, both declined by 0.2 percentage point in August.
Mining employment increased by 6,000 in August, a continuance of a reversal from a negative trend under the previous administration. Since a recent trough in October 2016, the industry has added 104,000 jobs, mostly in support jobs.
Employment in construction also continued to trend up in August (+23,000) and has increased by 297,000 over the year.
Manufacturing, which has been very strong, changed little in August (-3,000). But over the year, employment in the industry was up by 254,000 and employment in the sector is the highest in decades.
In August, we see wage growth. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents to $27.16. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 77 cents, or 2.9%, higher than the forecast.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.73 in August.