Job creation in August falls to 156000, lower than 2017 average

Violet Tucker
September 2, 2017

Job gains were less-than-expected in August.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the US economy added 156,000 jobs in August, which is down from June and July totals, and fell short of expectations.

Meanwhile, employment gains for June was revised down to 210,000 from 231,000 previously reported, and job gains in July was revised lower to 189,000 from 209,000. While the headline number missed the 180,000 forecast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report showed solid gains in higher-paying industries. The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.4 percent; it had been at 4.3 percent.

Pay rose slightly in August to an average of $26.39 an hour.

"Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent", the report added. It indicates that while growth is still ongoing, it's at a fairly slow pace.

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Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at S&P Global Ratings, said the extent of the short-term drag on the economy "depends on how disruptive the floods remain for the next few weeks". The lack of further acceleration in wages coupled with a lack of inflation pressures continues to provide the fed with flexibility around the pace of monetary policy tightening despite what historically would look like relatively tight labour markets.

Following the jobs report, traders still doubted where the Fed would move before the end of the year, giving a December hike just a 37 percent chance.

The August jobs report is out and it's a miss.

Treasury yields fell sharply after the report and then rebounded.

We're somewhat surprised that the market isn't trading better on the release, although as our pre-NFP survey revealed there was a strong bearish lean ahead of the event so perhaps there is a reluctance to abandon that bias as risk-assets are trading well on the data. There are further potential pitfalls ahead, as Washington faces a showdown over the debt ceiling, a statutory limit on how much money the United States can borrow that can only be increased by Congress, which could rattle markets, and delay action by the Fed. Select headlines and tables below. But economists have noted that average pay growth has been muted in part because older workers with higher wages are retiring while younger millennials who earn less are being hired.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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