The U.S. economy in August continued to show signs of strength, as the Labor Department reported Friday that 201,000 jobs were added by businesses last month, as the nation’s unemployment rate stayed at the historically low level of 3.9 percent.
Even with revisions reducing the number of jobs created in both June and July, the economy is producing new jobs at a higher pace than the same eight month period a year ago, averaging almost 207,000 jobs a month in 2018 compared to 189,000 a month in 2017.
The June report was revised down from 248,000 jobs created to 208,000 – July was also reduced from 157,000 to 147,000.
The U6 rate – considered the broadest measure of unemployment – ticked down to 7.4 percent, the lowest since April 2001.
The number of people working part-time because they couldn’t find a full-time job dropped by 188,000 in August, which was the sixth straight monthly decline in those figures.
Job gains were noted in health care, transportation, wholesale trade and construction.
But the better jobs numbers still could not put a dent in the Labor Force Participation rate, which slid back to 62.7 percent, still reflecting a big chunk of people who are not in the work force.
GOP lawmakers hailed the report, as Republicans make the election year argument that the economic policies of President Donald Trump are helping Americans at all levels.
“More good news – average hourly earnings increased more than was expected,” said Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL). “August had highest wage growth since April 2009.”
“More Americans have jobs and wages are rising. Really good news,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).