August U.S. jobs report disappoints economists

Tom Hinde

U.S. businesses slowed their hiring in August adding just 156,000 jobs. The numbers, released by the Labor Department on Friday, disappointed economists who predicted 180,000 new jobs according to a Bloomberg survey. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in July. Job sectors showing growth included manufacturing, construction, healthcare and mining. Employment dipped in the government and technology sectors.

The Labor Department also revised job gains in June and July downward by 41,000. The average hourly wage rose 3 cents to $26,39, but wages did not keep pace with gains of nearly 3 percent early this year. The impact of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area did not affect August job totals according to the Labor Department. The storm hit the region August 25 well after the Labor survey was completed.

The Federal Reserve tentatively plans to raise interest rates for a third time in 2017 near year's end.