Washington, DC…Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged
in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. The rate has shown
little change since April. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9
percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (25.4 percent), whites
(8.0 percent), blacks (16.7 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed
little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent,
not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was
about unchanged at 6.0 million in August and accounted for 42.9 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.)
The labor force rose to 153.6 million in August. Both the civilian labor force
participation rate, at 64.0 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at
58.2 percent, were little changed. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes
referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.4 million to 8.8
million in August. These individuals were working part time because their
hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
(See table A-8.)
About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in
August, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally
adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were
available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.
They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work
in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 977,000 discouraged workers in
August, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work
because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6
million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as
school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment, at 131.1 million, was unchanged (0) in
August. Employment changed little in most major private-sector industries.
(See table B-1.)
Health care employment rose by 30,000 in August. Ambulatory health care
services and hospitals added 18,000 and 8,000 jobs, respectively. Over the
past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 306,000.
Employment in mining continued to trend up in August (+6,000). Since reaching
a trough in October 2009, employment in mining has risen by 144,000, with
mining support activities accounting for most of the gain.
Within professional and business services, computer systems design and related
services added 8,000 jobs in August. Employment in temporary help services
changed little over the month (+5,000) and has shown little movement on net so
far this year.
Employment in the information industry declined by 48,000 in August. About
45,000 workers in the telecommunications industry were on strike and thus off
company payrolls during the survey reference period.
Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in August (-3,000),
following a gain of 36,000 in July. For the past 4 months, manufacturing has
added an average of 14,000 jobs per month, compared with an average of 35,000
jobs per month in the first 4 months of the year.
Elsewhere in the private sector, employment in construction; trade,
transportation, and utilities; financial activities; and leisure and
hospitality changed little over the month.
Government employment continued to trend down over the month (-17,000).
Despite the return of about 22,000 workers from a partial government shutdown
in Minnesota, employment in state government changed little in August (+5,000).
Employment in local government continued to decline. Since employment peaked
in September 2008, local government has lost 550,000 jobs.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged
down by 0.1 hour over the month to 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek
was 40.3 hours for the third consecutive month; factory overtime increased
by 0.1 hour over the month to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production
and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down to 33.5
hours in August, after holding at 33.6 hours for the prior 6 months. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.)
In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls decreased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.09. This decline
followed an 11-cent gain in July. Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have increased by 1.9 percent. In August, average hourly earnings
of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees decreased by
2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $19.47. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from
+46,000 to +20,000, and the change for July was revised from +117,000 to
The Employment Situation for September is scheduled to be released on Friday,
October 7, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).