US Nonfarm Payroll Increases by 315,000 in August; Unemployment Inches Higher to 3.7%

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today (9-2-22) reported that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 315,000 in August. Nonfarm employment has risen by 5.8 million over the past 12 months, as the labor market continues to recover from the job losses of the pandemic-induced recession. This growth brings total nonfarm employment 240,000 higher than its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

The BLS reports that in August, job growth was widespread, with notable growth occurring in professional and business services, which added 68,000 jobs. Other highlights include the following:

  • Health care employment rose by 48,000.
  • Retail trade added 44,000 jobs in August and 422,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
  • Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in August, adding 22,000 new positions.
  • Financial activities rose by 17,000 in August and by 200,000 over the year.
  • Employment in wholesale trade increased by 15,000.
  • Mining employment rose by 6,000 in August. In the last year, mining has added 68,000 jobs.
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in August, adding 31,000 new positions. This follows average monthly gains of 90,000 in the first 7 months of the year. Employment in leisure and hospitality remains below its February 2020 level by 1.2 million, or 7.2%.
  • Employment showed little change in other major industries, including construction, transportation and warehousing, information, other services, and government.

In August, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2% to 3.7%, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 6.0 million. In July, these measures had returned to their levels in February 2020, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

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