In the August jobs report released on Friday, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an increase of 169,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, while the unemployment rate nationally declined slightly by 0.1% from July’s report to 7.3%.
The private sector gained a total of 151,600 net jobs for the month. Sectors with the most significant gains were retail, education and health services and professional and business services. The manufacturing sector had a strong month as well, adding 14,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the information sector had a sharp drop in jobs for the month with the motion picture and sound recording industry losing 22,000 jobs.
August was the 42nd consecutive month of private sector job growth.
The government sector had a net increase of 17,000 jobs. The local government subsector added a net total of 20,000 jobs due to job creation in local government education.
The total number of workers marginally attached to the labor force, those who had looked for employment over the past 12 months but had not done so over the past four weeks, was reported to be 2.3 million, a decline of 219,000 from August 2012. Out of those marginally attached workers, the number of discouraged workers remained mostly unchanged from August 2012. Discouraged workers are workers who have stopped searching for employment because they do not believe there is a job opportunity available for them.
The number of long-term unemployed, those out of work for longer than 27 weeks, remained steady at 4.3 million. 37.9% of those who were unemployed in August were within this long-term unemployed category. According to the BLS, the number of long term unemployed has dropped in by 733,000 over the past year.
In addition, the number of involuntarily part-time workers, those that are part-time due to the economic situation forcing their hours to be cut back or their inability to find full time employment, dropped by 334,000 to 7.9 million.
Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for August:
• Construction: No change
• Financial Activities: -5,000
• Education and Health Services: +43,000
• Information: -18,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +27,000
• Manufacturing: +14,000
• Mining and Logging: +4,000
• Other Services: No change
• Professional and Business Services: +23,000
• Retail: +44,000
• Transportation and Warehousing: +12,000
• Utilities: -800
• Wholesale Trade: +8,400
• Government: +17,000
Overall, the average work week for private sector non-farm jobs increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours while the manufacturing sector average work week increased by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours. In August average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees increased by 5 cents to $24.05; thus far in 2013 hourly earnings have increased by 2.2%.
Jason Furman, who recently became the new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers stated in his blog on Friday in response to this latest employment summary,
Over the last four years, we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. With continued solid job gains, today’s employment report is another sign of progress, but we must continue to pursue policies that move our economy forward and restore middle class security.
President Barack Obama has continually attempted to work with republicans in Congress in order to help spur job growth and create a stronger middle class; however, republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate time and time again have been unwilling to negotiate.
In June the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with strong bipartisan support which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated would be a significant boon to the U.S. economy over the next two decades. However, the GOP leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives led by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has refused to allow a vote on the bill in the House despite the likelihood that a majority comprised of Republican and Democratic representatives would pass the bill.
The “September 2013 Employment Situation Summary” will be released by the BLS on Friday, October 4, 2013.
“Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 6 September 2013. Web. 6 September 2013.
Furman, Jason. “The Employment Situation in August.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 6 September 2013. Web. 6 September 2013.