Hiring in the construction sector and in professional services helped the economy to add 201,000 jobs last month.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 3.9 percent, near an 18-year low. While the August US Nonfarm Payrolls report wasn't a blowout by any means - the headline jobs figure came in at +201K versus the consensus of +190K - it was strong enough all-around to boost investors' beliefs about when the Federal Reserve will hike rates over the coming months. The initial July jobs report showed the economy added 157,000 jobs, missing consensus expectations.
Average hourly wage growth, which is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, continued its gradual slide last month to 2.9 per cent after expanding 3.2 per cent in July and 3.6 per cent in June.
United States non-farm payrolls surged by 201,000 jobs last month, boosted by hiring at construction sites, wholesalers and professional and business services, the Labor Department said.
Wages picked up in August, with the annual wage growth increase moving up to 2.9 percent from August's 2.7 percent.
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This developing report will be updated.
US employers sped up their hiring in August, reversing several months of slowing gains. Construction added 23 000 jobs. The economy grew at a 4.2 per cent annualised rate in the second quarter, nearly double the 2.2 per cent pace set in the January-March period.
Economists said the import duties implemented so far have affected only a small portion of the American economy, but warned this could change if President Donald Trump pressed ahead with additional tariffs on Chinese imports.
The US and China have slapped retaliatory tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since early July.
Trump on Friday said he was ready to impose tariffs on another $267 billion in Chinese goods, in addition to a $200 billion tariff list that is awaiting his decision.
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That unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in August, down from 8.6 percent a year ago.
The reports for the two previous months were revised lower.
Private sector payrolls rose by 204,000. That was the first drop in 13 months and followed an increase of 18,000 in July. The problem for workers, however, is that inflation has risen to 2.9 percent as well, meaning that the inflation-adjusted "real" wage gain is zero over the past 12 months., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Not all the economic news has been positive.
Service providers increased payrolls by 178 000 workers, a three-month high. The latest figure reflects a decrease of 46 000 unemployed people in August and a 423 000 drop in the number of people with jobs. But retail payrolls fell 5,900 and government shed 3,000 jobs.
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