Economy Watch: Job Growth in August Less Robust

The latest jobs report revealed an employment increase of 155,000, representing some growth but not as much as in recent months.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2016
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2016

Total payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, representing some growth for employment, but not as much as in recent months. The total compares with an average monthly gain of 204,000 over the last 12 months, while over the last three months, the average job gain has been 232,000 per month.

Even so, employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries, which is generally good news for office space. In financial activities, for instance, employment continued on an upward trend in August (up 15,000), with a gain in securities, commodity contracts and investments (up 6,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 167,000 jobs.

Health care employment also continued to trend up in August (gaining 14,000 jobs), but at a slower pace than the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (up 39,000). In August, hospitals added 11,000 jobs and employment in ambulatory health care services added 13,000. That’s the kind of employment that tends to fill medical office space and some former retail space.

The headline unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent, the BLS reported. A year ago, the rate was 5.1 percent. The bureau’s U-6 measurement of unemployment, which more broadly includes people only marginally attached to the labor force as well as those stuck in part-time jobs, came in at 9.7 percent; a year ago, the U-6 was 10.3 percent.