U.S. Employers Add 169,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Rate Dips to 7.3%

Washington — Sept. 6

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 169,000 in August and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Employment rose in retail trade and health care but declined in information.

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent, changed little in August. The jobless rate is down from 8.1 percent a year ago.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.1 percent), adult women (6.3 percent), teenagers (22.7 percent), whites (6.4 percent), blacks (13 percent) and Hispanics (9.3 percent) showed little change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In August, the number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was about unchanged at 4.3 million. These individuals accounted for 37.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 733,000.

The civilian labor force participation rate edged down to 63.2 percent in August. The employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, was essentially unchanged.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers — declined by 334,000 to 7.9 million in August. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In August, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 219,000 from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 866,000 discouraged workers in August — essentially unchanged from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics