In the United States, employers added 187,000 workers to their payrolls in August, the Department of Labor announced on Friday.
The unemployment rate jumped to 3.8 percent.
In July’s preliminary report, the Labor Department said the economy had added 187,000 jobs and the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.5 percent. On Friday, the government revised that figure down to show the economy added just 157,000 people. The June report was revised down from 80,000 to 105,000. Over the previous 12 months, employment grew by an average of 271,000 per month.
Economists expected the economy to add around 170,000 jobs, with the Econoday survey forecast range of 40,000 to 190,000. This wide range suggests a lot of uncertainty about the strength of the labor market.
The labor force participation rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 62.8 percent in August, the first increase in several months.
The average work week increased by a tenth of an hour to 34.4 hours. In the manufacturing sector, the average working week remained stable at 40.1 hours, the fifth consecutive month at this level, and overtime hours fell slightly by 0.1 hours to 3.0 hours . The average workweek for production and non-supervisory employees increased slightly by 0.1 hour to 33.8 hours.
The average hourly wage rose 0.2 percent to $33.82. Over the past 12 months, the average hourly wage has increased by 4.3 percent. The average hourly wage for non-supervisory and production employees in the private sector rose 6 cents, an increase of 0.2 percent, to $29.00.
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor said job vacancies stood at 8.8 million on the last day of July, below the lower end of the forecast range. This suggests that the demand for workers has fallen.
Yet employers continue to hold back their workers. Jobless claims, an indicator of layoffs, fell 4,000 last week to 227,000. The four-week moving average for claims, which dampens some of the weekly volatility, rose 250 to 237 500.
A report released Tuesday by payroll manager ADP suggests a sharp decline in corporate hiring in August. Private sector payrolls rose by 177,000 this month, from 371,000 the previous month, according to the ADP Research Institute’s monthly private sector employment report.
Monthly jobs numbers came in below expectations in June and July, ending a multi-month streak in which job numbers were consistently above forecasts.