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Financial News: U.S. Job Growth Falls Well Short Of Estimates

U.S. Job Growth Falls Well Short Of Estimates In August

09/01/2017 - 09:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Job growth in the U.S. came in well below economist estimates in the month of August, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 156,000 jobs in August compared to expectations for an increase of about 180,000 jobs.

The report also said the job growth in June and July was downwardly revised to 210,000 jobs and 189,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a net downward revision of 41,000 jobs.

The smaller than expected increase in employment was partly due to a notable slowdown in the pace of job growth in the service-providing sector, which added just 95,000 jobs in August.

On the other hand, the report showed notable increases in employment in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

The Labor Department also said the labor force increased by 77,000 people, while the household survey measure of employment contracted by 74,000 people.

The unemployment rate subsequently inched up to 4.4 percent in August from 4.3 percent in July. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

"With the survey evidence still strong and third-quarter economic growth on course for another decent gain after the second, there is no reason to believe that the modest drop-off in employment growth is the start of a more serious downturn," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "Nevertheless, since the September figures could be affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Fed might be waiting until the October data are released in early November before confirming that the labor market remains in good health."

The report said average hourly employee earnings crept up by 0.1 percent to $29.39 in August. Average hourly earnings were up 2.5 percent year-over-year, unchanged from the previous month.

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