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Economy adds 156K jobs in August
02 September 2017, 01:12 | Frank Carlson
US job growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of strong gains, but the pace of increase should be more than sufficient for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start trimming its massive bond portfolio.
The Labor Department also revised down earlier estimates for job growth in both June and July by a total of 41,000 jobs, suggesting that the labor market is not quite as strong as it appeared to be a month ago.
Overall, hiring this year has averaged 176,000 a month, close to 2016's average of 187,000.
August's numbers fall slightly short of previous months, and came in below economists' predictions that the economy would add roughly 180,000 jobs.
Brady's statement on Friday morning was a rare one from Republicans on the jobs report, as GOP lawmakers - who a year ago were quick to demand greater job creation from the Obama Administration - were mainly silent about the latest figures from the Trump Administration. Wage growth typically averages 3.5 percent to 4 percent annually when unemployment is this low.
According to the release, the New England unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1% in July. Average hourly earnings grew just 0.1% month-over-month, which was less than forecast.
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Goods-producing employment rose by 70,000 jobs during the month, as gains in durable goods manufacturing and construction led by both adding 28,000 jobs in August.
The economy expanded at a healthy 3% annual pace in the April-June quarter, a substantial increase from a weak 1.2% in the first three months of the year.
The number of Americans working part-time for economic reasons fell by 27,000 to 5.26 million. In August, job gains occurred in computer systems design and related services (+8,000).
Policy makers at the central bank are also keeping a close eye on wage growth. But economists expect initial unemployment claims to jump over the next few weeks as many businesses and workers have been immobilized by the devastating storms in Houston and across the Gulf Coast.
As for what all those workers are getting paid - wages remain in a "hold" pattern, with barely a gain seen all year. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $22.12.
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