Economy Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected in August

A Career Fair Ahead Of Jobless Claims Figures
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

The jobs market hit the dog days in August.

Last month, employers added a disappointing 151,000 jobs to their payrolls. That was less than economists were expecting. The projection was for the economy to add 180,000 jobs in August.

The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 4.9% for the month.

The number is another sign that the economy seven years after the recession ended could be slowing down. On Thursday, a key manufacturing index showed that that sector had cooled off.

Average hourly earnings also slowed down in the month to an increase of just 0.1% in August. That was down from an increase of 0.3% the month before.

What’s more, a good portion of the job gains came from government hiring. The private sector added just 126,000 jobs in August. The manufacturing sector lost 14,000 jobs in August.

The number also will put the Federal Reserve, which has been looking to raise interest rates, in a tough spot. Following the jobs number, investors were betting that it was less likely the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting in September.

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