Unemployment Falls to 8.4%, 1.4 Million Jobs Gained in August

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons fell 2.8 million to 13.6 million in August. Despite the large increase in nonfarm payroll over the month, unemployment still stands at 8.4%.

Large employment increases occurred in retail trade, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services.

Employment in leisure and hospitality rose 174,000 with food services and drinking places leading the increase with a gain of 134,000 jobs. Retail trade added 249,000 jobs in August, with almost half the growth occurring in general merchandise stores.

Government employment rose by 344,000 in August, accounting for one-fourth of the over-the month gain in total nonfarm employment, largely reflecting temporary hiring for the 2020 Census.

The civilian labor force participation rate increased to 61.7%. The number of workers on temporary layoff decreased by 3.1 million to 6.2 million, down considerably from the series high of 18.1 million in April. Workers with permanent job loss increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million. Workers unemployed less than 5 weeks decreased by 921,000 to 2.3 million.

Average hourly earnings rose by 11 cents to $29.47.


Read the BLS release.