WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the August jobs report (all times local):
U.S. employers added a modest 130,000 jobs in August, a sign that global economic weakness and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China may have begun to slow hiring.
The job gains were lifted by the temporary hiring of 25,000 government workers for the 2020 Census. Excluding all government hiring, businesses added 96,000 jobs, the fewest since May.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained 3.7%, near the lowest level in five decades, for the third straight month. The rate was flat for a positive reason: Americans surged into the workforce, lifting the proportion of adults working or looking for work to its highest level since February.
Job gains have averaged 150,000 a month for the past six months, down from 223,000 for all of last year.
U.S. employers are expected to have hired at another healthy pace in August, a trend that could power the economy through a rough patch stemming from a global slowdown and the Trump administration’s trade war with China.
Economists have forecast that businesses and governments added 160,000 jobs last month, nearly the same as July’s 164,000 gain. That pace is more than enough to keep up with population growth and over time could reduce the unemployment rate, now near a 50-year low of 3.7%, even further.
The rate of job creation is significant because at a time when the economy is slowing, additional steady hiring — and higher pay — would fuel consumer spending, the primary driver of growth. Unlike consumers, many businesses have slowed their spending and delayed expansion.