Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in financial activities.
Manufacturing and mining lost jobs. Household Survey Data In August, the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1%, and the number of unemployed persons edged down to 8.0 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.0 percentage point and 1.5 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 4.4 percent in August. The rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.7%), teenagers (16.9%), blacks (9.5%), Asians (3.5%), and Hispanics (6.6%) showed little change in August.
The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks decreased by 393,000 to 2.1 million in August. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) held at 2.2 million in August and accounted for 27.7% of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 779,000.
In August, the civilian labor force participation rate was 62.6% for the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4%, was about unchanged in August and has shown little movement thus far this year. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in August at 6.5 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In August, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 329,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Manufacturing employment decreased by 17,000 in August, after changing little in July (+12,000). Job losses occurred in a number of component industries, including fabricated metal products and food manufacturing (-7,000 each). These losses more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000) and in miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+4,000). Thus far this year, overall employment in manufacturing has shown little net change.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +231,000 to +245,000, and the change for July was revised from +215,000 to +245,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 44,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 221,000 per month.