The numbers: The United States created 201,000 new jobs in August, keeping the unemployment rate at an 18-year low and generating the fastest increase in worker pay since the end of the Great Recession.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 200,000 increase in new nonfarm jobs.
The unemployment rate, meanwhile, was unchanged at 3.9%, the Labor Department said Friday.
The increase in hiring in August was another solid gain that reflects broad strength in an economy that accelerated in the spring and showed little sign of slowing down toward the end of summer.
The biggest news in the August employment report was a sharp increase in pay.
The average wage paid to American workers rose by 10 cents to $27.16 an hour. What’s more, the yearly rate of pay increases climbed to 2.9% from 2.7%, marking the highest level since June 2009.
What happened: White-collar professional firms filled 53,000 positions, bringing the total created over the past 12 months to more than half a million. These are the fastest growing jobs in the country.
Health-care providers hired 33,000 people, transport firms added 20,000 jobs and construction companies hired 23,000 workers.
Employment fell by 3,000 in manufacturing, the first decline in 13 months. U.S. tariffs and a scarcity of skilled laborers may finally be taking their toll.
Retailers also cut jobs.
Employment gains for July and June, meanwhile, were revised down by a combined 50,000, the Labor Department said Friday.
Still, the economy has produced an average of 207,000 new jobs a month so far this year — faster than the pace of hiring in both 2017 and 2016.
SOURCE: JEFFRY BARTASH