The August jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs last month. While that figure is higher than economists’ projections of 170,000 jobs, the agency also notes that new job creation in June and July combined was lower than previously reported — by 110,000 positions.
The national unemployment rate was 3.8% in August, up from 3.5% in July. That’s the highest rate seen since February 2022. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged. The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older — the professionals most highly sought-after by many employers — also rose slightly in August to 2.2%. In July, it was 2.0%.
Employers in education and health services expanded payrolls by 102,000 positions last month, representing the bulk of new job creation in August. Meanwhile, the leisure and hospitality industry saw job gains of 40,000, and employers in professional and business services added 19,000 jobs, according to the August jobs report from the BLS. These industries also experienced job growth last month: Construction: 22,000 jobs added Manufacturing: 16,000 jobs added Government: 8,000 jobs added Retail trade: 6,300 jobs added Wholesale trade: 4,700 jobs added Financial services: 4,000 jobs added
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the BLS shows that there were 8.8 million open roles in the U.S. on the last business day of July — down from 9.6 million in June. The high level of job openings suggests that many employers are struggling to hire skilled professionals to keep pace with current business demands. And some businesses may be seeking talent to support new initiatives they are planning to undertake soon. The latest JOLTS report notes that 3.5 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily in July, edging down from 3.8 million in June. And while U.S. employers appear to be taking a measured approach to hiring right now, research from Robert Half indicates that many professionals are feeling optimistic about their job prospects. In a recent Robert Half survey of U.S. workers, 25% of respondents said they are actively seeking a new role, and another 24% plan to launch a job search by year-end.
For further analysis of the August jobs report from the BLS and current U.S. employment trends, see this video from Robert Half Operational President Dawn Fay. Watch video
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