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Economy adds 315K jobs in August, unemployment rises slightly

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Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – Newly released federal economic data showed improved job growth for the month of August.

The Bureau of Economic Statistics released its monthly jobs report Friday which showed the economy added just below experts' expectations with 315,000 jobs in August while unemployment ticked up to 3.7 percent.

“Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade,” BLS said. “In August, the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 6.0 million. In July, these measures had returned to their levels in February 2020, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Unemployment rates varied by demographic.

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent) and Hispanics (4.5 percent) rose in August,” BLS said. “The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (10.4 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (6.4 percent), and Asians (2.8 percent) showed little change over the month.”

“Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers increased by 188,000 to 1.4 million in August,” BLS added. “The number of persons on temporary layoff was virtually unchanged at 782,000.”

The report found that more than 4 million Americans want more hours but can't get them.

“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed at 4.1 million in August,” BLS said. “These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”