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U.S. Employers Add 156,000 Jobs in August

September 1, 2017
SVN Staff

Disappointing news for August job report.  The U.S. economy added 156,000 nonfarm payrolls in August while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4%, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is down from payroll increase of 189,000 in July and 210,000 in June. The August numbers disappointed many economists who were expecting a gain of 180,000 – 190,000 jobs and for unemployment to hold steady at 4.3%. However, unemployment is still near its lowest rate in 16 years and hiring continues.

While Hurricane Harvey shut down much of business in Houston metro area, the storm did not have any impact on this month’s job report. Harvey’s impact could show up in the September report if many businesses in the region remain shuttered two weeks into September. The storm could also give a lift to employment numbers when cleanup and reconstruction begins later on down the line.  

August payroll numbers historically have been the most volatile due to seasonal distortions, often coming in weak at first reading only to be revised higher. In 2016, the first report showed 151,000, while the final number moved up to 176,000.

Following the jobs report, traders still doubted where the Fed would move before the end of the year, giving a December hike just a 37 percent chance.

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