August Jobs Report Lukewarm

The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday—a lukewarm reading, but short of expectations. The unemployment rate held at 4.4 percent, and hourly wages on average went up three cents to $26.39.

“Job creation…was a bit light at 156,000,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in a statement. “The unemployment rate is very low, but has not yet meaningfully forced up wages. It has been a humdrum economy so far this year, seesawing between good to tolerable, yet certainly not great. Nonetheless, the 12-month job gains total still tops 2 million, and that will likely grow household formation and home-buying demand. The job figures…assures that interest rates will remain low for a longer period.”

“Even though August’s numbers were softer than those of recent months, labor market conditions remain strong overall,” says Brian Schaitkin, senior economist for The Conference Board. “Americans feel secure about their job prospects; according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, the share of consumers who believe that jobs are hard to get has reached its lowest level since 2001.”

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