Like President Obama taking selfies and busting some new dance moves during his recent trip to Alaska, the August 2015 jobs report released this morning was unpredictable and got mixed reactions. The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, which was below expectations, but at the same time the unemployment rate dropped to a 7-year low.
As you may know, following each month’s BLS jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.
HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:
1. Let’s celebrate the unemployment rate. No, seriously — the unemployment rate has been slowly but surely moving in the right direction lately, and we hit quite a milestone in August: It’s now sitting at a 7-year low.
— CareerBuilder (@CBforEmployers) September 4, 2015
2. August numbers were lower than expected and June/July numbers were higher than reported. August numbers — 173,000 — came in lower than the 220,000 that economists were expecting, but as The New York Times puts it:
Although hiring in August was well below the 220,000-job gain that economists had expected, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent, the lowest since early 2008. At that level, joblessness is nearing the level that economists and the Fed consider close to full employment…
And as Forbes puts it:
Just 173,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August, according to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out Friday morning. That’s well below market expectations as well as the 12-month average. However, with the unemployment rate coming in at its lowest level since April 2008, seemingly for the right reasons, and solid revisions to prior months’ payroll count the situation may not be as lackluster as the August figure suggests.
Additionally, June and July numbers were revised up by a total of 44,000 more jobs than were initially reported.
3. Wages went up a little. U.S. hourly wages ticked up in August and showed overall year-over-year growth, which is a positive sign especially given how wages remained stagnant for awhile earlier in the year. According to Business Insider:
We … got some wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3% month-over-month and 2.5% year-on-year.
And even though there’s more to be desired on the wage front,
Hourly earnings up 2.2%. So that is a step in the right direction on the wage growth front.
— Paul R. La Monica (@LaMonicaBuzz) September 4, 2015