ibusinesslines.com December 10, 2018

Jobs report: Employers added 201,000 jobs in August

10 September 2018, 12:49 | Kelvin Horton

Higher than Expected Job Growth and Wage Gains in August Signal Economic Strength AP

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings Mont. Thursday Sept. 6 2018

US employers likely hired at a healthy pace in August, emboldened by brisk consumer spending and an economy that keeps growing steadily.

Some 201,000 jobs were added, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.9 percent, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Labor Department.

The number of "discouraged workers" - people who aren't looking for jobs because they don't believe anything is out there for them - stood at 434,000 last month, relatively unchanged from August 2017.

Job growth remained steady last month, and the economy has now added jobs for 95 consecutive months.

Another month for 2018 is in the rearview mirror, and another jobs report has revealed that the U.S. labor market continues to chug along at a steady pace.

The rising wage and jobs data make it a near-certainty that the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates when it meets later this month, economists said.

This developing report will be updated. That raised the annual increase in wages to 2.9 per cent in August, the largest increase since June 2009, from 2.7 per cent in July.

The United States and China have slapped retaliatory tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since early July. US companies across a range of industries have expressed alarm about those import taxes and about counter-tariffs that other nations have imposed on USA exports. The White House has also threatened to hit China with higher taxes on $200 billion more of Chinese goods. Businesses are increasingly reluctant to even lay off workers, in part because it would be difficult to replace them at a time when qualified job applicants have become harder to find. Measures of new orders and production surged, and factories added jobs at a faster pace than in July.

"This should prove transitory as autos manufacturing payrolls tend to be noisy over the summer months as companies shut down production to retool for the next year's models, making seasonal adjustment factors less precise", said Joseph Song, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in NY.

Job gains in August were nearly across all sectors, though manufacturing payrolls fell by 3,000.

But retail payrolls fell 5,900 last month and government shed 3,000.

Employment growth was revised down by a total of 50,000 over June and July, making the last three months look more like a slowdown as trade tensions loomed.

US businesses added 204,000 jobs while federal, state and local governments lost 3,000.

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