151,000 Jobs Added in August, Unemployment Holds at 4.9%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in August, down from July’s upwardly revised figure of 275,000. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9%. The majority of the gains came from private service-providing industries. In contrast, most goods-producing industries shed jobs.

Private service-providing industries added a net 150,000 jobs, led by gains in education and health services and leisure and health services. Healthcare employment continued to trend up during the month (adding 14,000 jobs), but rose at a slower pace than the 39,000 job average over the past year. Professional and technical services added 20,000 jobs, generally in line with the 12-month average.

Goods-producing employment shed a net 24,000 jobs, led by durable goods manufacturing, which lost 16,000 jobs during the month. Mining employment also continued to trend down, shedding 4,000 jobs. After peaking in September 2014, mining industry employment has fallen by 223,000.

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.8%, unchanged from July. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was also unchanged at 2.0 million and accounted for 26.1% of the unemployed. The number of discouraged workers was 576,000 in August, little changed from the previous year.

Average hourly earnings rose 3 cents to $25.73. Hourly earnings have increased 2.4% over the past year.

Read the BLS release.