August Sees 187,000 Job Boost as Unemployment Climbs to 3.8%

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Sep 1, 2023, 14:23 GMT+00:00

August saw 187K nonfarm payrolls, surpassing Dow's 170K estimate; unemployment hit a 3.8% peak since February 2022, with earnings below projections.

Non Farm payrolls


  • Nonfarm payrolls up by 187,000 in August.
  • Unemployment rate at 3.8%, highest since February 2022.
  • Average hourly earnings rise 0.2% monthly, 4.3% yearly.

Employment Statistics Overview

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a rise in total nonfarm payroll employment by 187,000 in August. However, this increase is below the prior 12-month average gain of 271,000. While sectors like health care, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and construction witnessed employment growth, there was a notable decline in the transportation and warehousing sector.

Unemployment Rate Insights

There was a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, reaching 3.8 percent in August, marking a 0.3 percentage point increase from the previous month. This translates to an additional 514,000 unemployed individuals, totaling 6.4 million. Comparatively, the numbers remained fairly consistent from the previous year, with a 3.7 percent unemployment rate and 6.0 million unemployed persons.

Earnings and Workweek Duration

Average hourly earnings saw a moderate increase in August. Earnings for all private nonfarm payroll employees went up by 8 cents, settling at $33.82. This represents a 4.3 percent annual increase. Specifically, private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees experienced a 6 cent rise in hourly earnings, leading to an average of $29.00. Meanwhile, the average workweek for all private nonfarm payroll employees experienced a minor increment, resulting in a 34.4-hour workweek.

Revised Figures for June and July

Past employment data underwent revisions. June’s employment change was reduced by 80,000, from an initial estimate of +185,000 to the revised +105,000. July’s figures also saw a downward revision of 30,000, adjusting the number from +187,000 to +157,000. Consequently, the combined employment figures for these two months are now 110,000 less than the previously reported numbers.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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