U.S. Employers Add Jobs, Employment Outlook Cloudy

Jobs Added Were 45,000 Less Than July

Employment Outlook CloudyThe U.S. economy added 96,000 non-farm jobs in August, and the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, according to a report released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Companies in fields from financial services to health care bolstered payrolls. The number of jobs added in August was 45,000 less than in July. And, additional data shows the Bureau of Labor Statistics was too optimistic about job gains in June and July. About 40,000 less positions were actually created in those summer months than initially estimated.

Hourly earnings headed in the wrong direction in August, too. Non-farm payrolls slipped by 1 cent to $23.52, and have only risen about 1.7% over the last 12 months. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and non-managerial employees also dropped a cent, slipping to $19.75. Last month, the average work for all employees on private, non-farm payrolls held steady at 34.4 hours.

As for the bright spots, the finance and insurance industry bolstered payrolls by 11,000 positions. Job gains were also seen in the following markets: Food services/drinking places (+28,000); professional and technical services (+27,000); health care (+17,000); and utilities (+9,000). The most downbeat note was sounded from the manufacturing sector, which lost about 15,000 positions. A decline in motor vehicles and parts (-8,000) partially offset a gain in July. Auto manufacturers laid off fewer workers for factory retooling than usual in July, and fewer workers than usual were recalled in August.