235,000 Jobs Added in August, Unemployment Rate at 5.2%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons fell to 8.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.2%.

Most of the job gains in August were in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, and manufacturing.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 74,000 in August. Employment rose in architectural and engineering services (+19,000), computer systems design and related services (+10,000), scientific research and development services (+7,000), and office administrative services (+6,000). Since February 2020, employment in professional and business services is down by 468,000, over half of which is in temporary help services (-262,000).

Transportation and warehousing added 53,000 jobs in August, bringing employment in the industry slightly above (+22,000) its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Employment gains have been led by strong growth in couriers and messengers and in warehousing and storage, which added 20,000 jobs each in August. Air transportation also added jobs (+11,000), while transit and ground passenger transportation–which includes school buses–lost jobs (-8,000).

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.7%. Persons on temporary layoff was at 1.3 million, essentially unchanged in August. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020 but is 502,000 above the February 2020 level. Workers with permanent job loss declined to 2.5 million.

Read the BLS release.