Unemployment Inches Up In August As Job Growth Misses Expectations

Unemployment ticked up to 4.4% in August as the economy only added 156,000 jobs, missing the mark of an estimated 180,000 jobs.


Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting payrolls to grow by 180,000 in August and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 4.3 percent. A broader measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons also was unchanged at 8.6 percent.

In addition to missing estimates, previous months’ job totals also were cut. June was revised down from 231,000 to 210,000 while July fell from the initially reported 209,000 to 189,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Wage growth also was weak for the month, with average hourly earnings up 0.1 percent for an annualized rate of 2.5 percent. The average work week declined by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours.

Donald Trump likes to tout his “job-creating” ability. But, just for giggles, let’s compare the number of jobs added to the economy this year and last year during the same time period when Barack Obama was prez:

• 1st 8 months of 2016: 1,548,000

• 1st 8 months of 2017: 1,405,000

Now, if math serves me correctly, there were 148,000 more jobs created in the first 8 months of 2016 than 2017.