Unemployment for African Americans Falls to All-Time Low 5.5%
The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. This marks the eighteenth straight month in which unemployment is at or below 4%, and unemployment for African American fell to a new all-time low at 5.5% (chart also here).
The job creation forecasts ranged from a low of 150,000 to a high of 180,000. The consensus forecast was 163,000. While that 130,000 number is below expectations, there’s a lot of positives in this report.
|Prior||Consensus Forecast||Forecast Range||Actual|
|Nonfarm Payrolls – M/M ∆||164,000||163,000||150,000 to 180,000||130,000|
|Unemployment Rate – Level||3.7%||3.7%||3.6% to 3.8%||3.7%|
|Private Payrolls – M/M ∆||148,000||150,000||136,000 to 155,000||96,000|
|Manufacturing Payrolls – M/M ∆||16,000||8,000||1,000 to 8,000||3,000|
|Participation Rate – level||63.0%||62.9%||62.9% to 63.0%||63.2%|
|Average Hourly Earnings – M/M ∆||0.3%||0.3%||0.2% to 0.4%||0.4%|
|Average Hourly Earnings – Y/Y ∆||3.2%||3.1%||3.0% to 3.4%||3.2%|
|Av Workweek – All Employees||34.3 hrs||34.4 hrs||34.4 hrs to 34.4 hrs||34.4 hrs|
The labor force participation rate (chart) rose to 63.2% and the employment-population ratio also rose to at 60.9%. The latter is up 0.6% for the year.
In August, average hourly earnings (AHEs) for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $28.11 after 9-cent gains in both June and July.
Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2% (chart). Wage growth has now exceeded 3% for 11 straight months on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, and hit or exceeded for 13 straight months.
In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents to $23.59.
For June, the change in total nonfarm payrolls was revised down by 15,000 from +193,000. For July, it was revised down by 5,000 from +164,000 to +159,000, resulting in a net 20,000 change for the two months.
On Thursday, the ADP National Employment Report showed the U.S. private sector added 195,000 jobs in August.