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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                     Friday, September 6, 2019

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and 
the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. 
Employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the 
hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Other notable 
job gains occurred in health care and financial activities, 
while employment declined in mining. 
      Payroll employment growth has moderated this year. Monthly 
job growth has averaged 158,000 through August, compared with 
223,000 per month in 2018. (Incorporating revisions for June and 
July, which decreased employment by 20,000, monthly job gains 
have averaged 156,000 over the past 3 months.)
      In August, employment rose in federal government (+28,000), 
mainly due to the hiring of 25,000 temporary workers in 
preparation for the 2020 Census.
      Health care added 24,000 jobs in August. Hospitals added 
9,000 jobs over the month, and employment continued to trend up 
in ambulatory health care services (+12,000). Health care has 
added 392,000 jobs over the year.
      Financial activities employment grew by 15,000 in August, 
following a large increase in July (+20,000). Within the 
industry, insurance carriers and related activities added 7,000 
jobs over the month.
      Employment in professional and business services continued 
to trend up in August (+37,000). Monthly job growth in the 
industry has averaged 34,000 thus far this year, below the 
average increase of 47,000 per month in 2018. Employment in 
computer systems design and related services rose by 10,000 in 
August, in line with recent growth. Management of companies and 
enterprises also added 10,000 jobs over the month.
      In August, employment in social assistance continued to 
trend up (+13,000). Over the past 6 months, social assistance 
has added 100,000 jobs, mostly in individual and family 
      In August, mining employment declined by 6,000. Mining has 
lost 12,000 jobs since May, with losses concentrated in support 
activities for mining.
      Retail trade employment changed little in August (-11,000). 
General merchandise stores (which include department stores, 
warehouse clubs, and supercenters) lost 15,000 jobs over the 
month and 80,000 jobs over the year. Building material and 
garden supply stores added 9,000 jobs over the month.
      Employment in manufacturing remained little changed in 
August (+3,000). So far in 2019, job growth in the industry has 
been markedly slower than in 2018. Employment growth in 
manufacturing has averaged 6,000 per month through August of 
this year, compared with 22,000 per month in 2018. The 
manufacturing workweek increased by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours in 
August, after declining by 0.3 hour in July.
      Employment also showed little change over the month in 
construction, in transportation and warehousing, and in leisure 
and hospitality. Job growth in these industries has moderated 
thus far in 2019 compared with 2018.
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 11 cents in August to $28.11, following 9-cent 
gains in both June and July. Over the past 12 months, average 
hourly earnings have risen by 3.2 percent; the over-the-year 
percent change has been 3.0 percent or above for 13 consecutive 
months. From July 2018 to July 2019, the Consumer Price Index 
for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.8 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).
      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent in August, 
and the number of unemployed people was essentially unchanged at 
6.0 million. The unemployment rate has been 4.0 percent or lower 
since March 2018.
      Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for 
work for 27 weeks or more, at 1.2 million, was little changed in 
August. These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.6 percent of 
the unemployed.
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent in 
August, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.9 percent, 
edged up by 0.2 percentage point over the month. 
      Among the employed, the number of people working part time 
for economic reasons was 4.4 million in August, as an increase 
of 397,000 followed a similarly-sized decline the month before. 
These involuntary part-time workers accounted for 2.8 percent of 
the employed in August, the same as a year earlier.
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in August, 
1.6 million were considered marginally attached to the labor 
force, little changed from a year earlier. (People who are 
marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work 
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
467,000 in August, little changed from a year earlier.
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in 
August, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent.

Last Modified Date: September 06, 2019