Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until          USDL-15-1697
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, September 4, 2015

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

                     THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- AUGUST 2015

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August, and the 
unemployment rate edged down to 5.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in 
financial activities. Manufacturing and mining lost jobs.

Household Survey Data

In August, the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1 percent, and the number of 
unemployed persons edged down to 8.0 million. Over the year, the unemployment 
rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.0 percentage point 
and 1.5 million, respectively. (See table A-1.) 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 
4.4 percent in August. The rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women
(4.7 percent), teenagers (16.9 percent), blacks (9.5 percent), Asians
(3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change in August.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks decreased by 393,000 
to 2.1 million in August. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless 
for 27 weeks or more) held at 2.2 million in August and accounted for 27.7 
percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term 
unemployed is down by 779,000. (See table A-12.)

In August, the civilian labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for 
the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, 
was about unchanged in August and has shown little movement thus far this 
year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes 
referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in August 
at 6.5 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or 
because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In August, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 
down by 329,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) 
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available 
for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They 
were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in 
the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 624,000 discouraged workers in 
August, down by 151,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally 
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work 
because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 
million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not 
searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family 
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 173,000 in August. Over the prior 
12 months, employment growth had averaged 247,000 per month. In August, job 
gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in financial 
activities. Employment in manufacturing and mining declined. (See 
table B-1.)

Health care and social assistance added 56,000 jobs in August. Health care 
employment increased by 41,000 over the month, with job growth occurring in 
ambulatory health care services (+21,000) and hospitals (+16,000). Employment 
rose by 16,000 in social assistance, which includes child day care services 
and services for the elderly and disabled. Over the year, employment has 
risen by 457,000 in health care and by 107,000 in social assistance.

In August, financial activities employment increased by 19,000, with job 
gains in real estate (+8,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and 
investments (+5,000). Over the year, employment in financial activities has 
grown by 170,000. 

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in 
August (+33,000) and has increased by 641,000 over the year.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued on an upward trend 
in August (+26,000), in line with its average monthly gain of 31,000 over 
the prior 12 months.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 17,000 in August, after changing little 
in July (+12,000). Job losses occurred in a number of component industries, 
including fabricated metal products and food manufacturing (-7,000 each). 
These losses more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000) and 
in miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+4,000). Thus far this year, 
overall employment in manufacturing has shown little net change.

Employment in mining fell in August (-9,000), with losses concentrated in 
support activities for mining (-7,000). Since reaching a peak in December 2014, 
mining employment has declined by 90,000. 

Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale 
trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and government, 
showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up 
by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours in August. The manufacturing workweek was unchanged 
at 40.8 hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The 
average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 8 cents to $25.09, following a 6-cent gain in July. Hourly 
earnings have risen by 2.2 percent over the year. Average hourly earnings 
of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 
cents to $21.07 in August. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from 
+231,000 to +245,000, and the change for July was revised from +215,000 to 
+245,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined 
were 44,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job 
gains have averaged 221,000 per month.

The Employment Situation for September is scheduled to be released on 
Friday, October 2, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

   |                                                                            |
   |           2015 CES Preliminary Benchmark Revision to be released           |
   |                         on September 17, 2015                              |
   |                                                                            |
   | Each year, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey estimates are    |
   | benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment from the Quarterly       |
   | Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for the month of March. These counts |
   | are derived from state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records that nearly |
   | all employers are required to file. On September 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.   |
   | (EDT), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the preliminary   |
   | estimate of the upcoming annual benchmark revision to the establishment    |
   | survey employment series. This is the same day the First Quarter 2015 data |
   | from the QCEW will be issued. Preliminary benchmark revisions for all      |
   | major industry sectors, as well as total nonfarm and total private levels, |
   | will be available on the BLS website at                                    |
   | www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesprelbmk.htm.                                     |
   |                                                                            |
   | The final benchmark revision will be issued with the publication of the    |
   | January 2016 Employment Situation news release in February.                |
   |                                                                            |

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Last Modified Date: September 04, 2015