August Jobs Report: Americans are Still Winning!

Posted by Olivia Grady on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 at 10:54 am - Permalink

On Friday, September 6th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report for August 2019.

In August, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000. With these additions, more than 5.8 million jobs have been created since January of 2017. In addition, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%. The unemployment rate has been at or below 4% for 18 straight months, the longest streak since 1970.

Further, the labor force participation rate rose to 63.2%, and average hourly earnings rose by 11 cents to $28.11. As Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella says:

"America's workers are seeing the benefits of the strong job market in their paychecks. Wages year-over-year increased by 3.2%. For thirteen months, wage growth has been at or exceeded 3.0%. An important note is that average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees had the largest one month increase in the series history that dates back to 1964.”

Minorities and women also continue to prosper under the Trump administration. In fact, the Council of Economic Advisers reported:

“The African American unemployment rate hit its lowest rate on record since the series began in 1972 at 5.5 percent (figure 2), the African-American adult female unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate on record at 4.4 percent, and the African-American teen unemployment rate hit a new series low yet again, beating its record low from July. The Hispanic unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, matching its series lows from April and May 2019.”

However, one of the largest pieces of news from the jobs report is the U-6 unemployment rate. Gordon Gray, Director of Fiscal Policy at American Action Forum, explained the importance of this number in his September 6th post, “Better Than The Headline.” 

The U-6 unemployment rate is the broadest employment rate and includes total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force and total employed part time for economic reasons. In August, the U-6 unemployment rate increased to 7.2%, which is actually encouraging news. An increase in this rate means that those who have stopped looking for a job now think they have an opportunity to find a job and have started looking again.

Congratulations to the Trump administration for another strong jobs report!