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Jobs Report: Payrolls Added 201,000 Jobs in August While Wages Rose

Topics: Current Events
The monthly jobs report from the Labor Department showed the addition of 201,000 jobs to public and private non-farm payrolls. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.9 percent.
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But the real news was wage growth. Average hourly wages grew 10 cents to $27.16.

“We don’t think it’s a fluke,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, speaking with CNN. “We think we are at that stage where the labor market has gotten so tight that you’re going to see upward pressure on wages.”

The Trump Administration has said that traditional measures of wage growth don’t capture how much American workers are being paid. In a recent report, the White House argues that these measurements fail to take into account benefits like health insurance and retirement savings and aren’t adjusted to reflect the fact that younger employees who are new to the workforce earn less.

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However, even measurements that show higher wage growth — such as The Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta’s wage growth tracker — reflect declining wages in recent years. And The PayScale Index, which measures real wages in addition to nominal wages, shows that the value of workers’ pay in Q2 2018 was 9.3 percent lower than in 2006.

Where Jobs Are Growing

The following industries added jobs last month:

  • Business and Professional Services (+53,000 jobs)
  • Healthcare (+33,000 jobs)
  • Construction (+23,000 jobs)
  • Wholesale Trade (+22,000 jobs)
  • Transportation and Warehousing (+20,000 jobs)
  • Mining (+6,000 jobs)

Manufacturing declined last month, shedding 3,000 jobs, while other industries were largely flat, including leisure and hospitality, retail trade, information, financial activities and government.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised June and July’s reports to reflect 50,000 fewer jobs added. Still, job gains during the summer months averaged 185,000 per month.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your take on this report? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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