Mixed Picture Emerges from New Jobs Report

By Toni Vranjes

September 4, 2015

Job growth was lower than expected in August, and the labor force declined, according to figures released today. On the other hand, wages rose, and job growth for previous months was revised upward.

The economy gained 173,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department reported today. That fell short of expectations, though. In a Bloomberg survey of economists, the median forecast was for an increase of 217,000, Bloomberg News reported.down_arrow_5_pt_1

Health care saw a large increase, with 41,000 jobs. Other areas of growth included professional and business services, as well as food and drinking establishments.

Last month, unemployment dropped from 5.3 percent to 5.1 percent, as the labor force declined by 41,000.

The new report also shows a boost in wages. Average hourly earnings increased by 8 cents in August, according to the Labor Department. Over the year, earnings increased by 2.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the employment picture for June and July is better than it initially appeared. For those two months combined, there were 44,000 more jobs than previously reported.

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