PhotoA bit of a slowdown in the number of new jobs created by the economy.

According to the Labor Department (DOL), total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 last month, while the jobless rate inched up from 4.3% to 4.4%. The unemployment rate has been either 4.3 or 4.4% since April.

There was no discernible effect on employment and unemployment from Hurricane Harvey as the data were collected earlier in the month.

As it issued its August report, the government made some downward revisions in its figures for the last couple of months.

The employment change for June was revised down from +231,000 to +210,000, and the change for July was lowered to +189,000 from +209,000. As a result, employment gains in June and July combined were 41,000 less than previously reported.

Who's on the job

The unemployment rates for adult men (4.1%), adult women (4.0%), teenagers (13.%), Whites (3.9%), Blacks (7.7%), Asians (4.0%) and Hispanics (5.2%) showed little or no change in August.

The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.9% and has shown little movement on net over the past year. The employment-population ratio -- 60.1% -- was little changed over the month and thus far this year.

Who's hiring and who's not

Job gains last month were seen in manufacturing (+36,000), construction (+28,000), professional and technical services (+22,000), health care (+20,000) and mining ((+7,000).

Other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government, showed little change over the month.

So far this year, employment growth has averaged 176,000 per month; the average monthly gain in 2016 was 187,000.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls inched up 3 cents last month to $26.39, after rising by 9 cents in July. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have gone up 65 cents, or 2.5%.

The complete report is available on the DOL website.


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