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US Employment Report for August 2023 Reveals Mixed Trends

Employment Situation report for August 2023

U.S. Employment Report for August 2023 Reveals Mixed Trends

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Employment Situation report for August 2023, indicating a nuanced picture of the labor market. Here are the key findings:

Household Survey Data:

  • The unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent, reflecting an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the previous month. The number of unemployed persons also saw a rise, reaching 6.4 million.
  • Among various worker groups, adult men, whites, and Asians experienced higher unemployment rates in August. Conversely, unemployment rates for adult women, teenagers, Blacks, and Hispanics remained relatively stable.
  • The number of job losers and individuals completing temporary jobs increased by 294,000 in August, offsetting the previous month’s decrease.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 62.8 percent in August, showing a modest rise after several months of stability.
  • Approximately 4.2 million individuals were employed part-time for economic reasons, with their hours reduced or unable to find full-time jobs.
  • The number of persons not in the labor force but actively seeking jobs remained unchanged at 5.4 million.
  • Marginally attached to the labor force were 1.5 million individuals, including 386,000 discouraged workers who believed no jobs were available for them.

Establishment Survey Data:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 187,000 in August, falling below the 12-month average gain of 271,000.
  • Health care added 71,000 jobs in August, with notable growth in ambulatory health care services, nursing and residential care facilities, and hospitals.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment continued to grow, adding 40,000 jobs in August, though it remains below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Social assistance gained 26,000 jobs, in line with the 12-month average.
  • Construction employment increased by 22,000, consistent with the average monthly gain over the past year.
  • Transportation and warehousing experienced a decline of 34,000 jobs, primarily due to business closures.
  • Professional and business services saw a modest gain of 19,000 jobs, while employment in temporary help services continued to decline.
  • Information employment remained largely stable in August.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.2 percent to $33.82. Over the past year, hourly earnings increased by 4.3 percent.
  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in August.
  • The report also noted revisions for June and July, resulting in a combined employment decrease of 110,000 from previously reported figures.

These findings present a complex employment landscape marked by various trends across different sectors of the economy.