The U.S. economy added 315,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists had expected the economy to add 298,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.5 percent. The range of forecasts by economists surveyed by Econoday was between a gain on payrolls of 200,000 to 390,000. On unemployment, the range of forecasts was for 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent.
The prior month’s report was stunningly high at 528,000, nearly double what economists had forecast and unemployment fell from 3.6 percent to 3.5 percent. This was revised down slightly to 526,000. The June report was revised down by 105,000 jobs to 293,000.
On average, the economy has added around 471,000 jobs per month in 2022, an extremely high rate of payroll building. The Labor Department’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey showed that there were 11.239 million job openings at the end of July, nearly two for every unemployed person.
The demand for labor from employers has proven extremely resilient, adding to payrolls and vacancies even as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates up at a rapid pace, raising the fed funds rate at every meeting since March.
The labor force participation rate rose to 62.4 percent from 62.1 percent.
Average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent, a slowdown compared with the prior month’s 0.5 percent. Economists had thought wages would rise 0.4 percent. Compared with a year ago, average hourly wages are up 5.2 percent.