The U.S. economy added 156,000 net new jobs in August, missing expectations for 180,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4% from 4.3%, while the labor force participation rate stayed flat at 62.9% during the month. Average hourly earnings meanwhile increased by 3 cents, or 0.1%.
Economists polled had predicted a 170,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. Wages increased by 3 cents to an average of $26.39 an hour, the government said Friday. Hourly pay increased 2.5% from August 2016 to August 2017, unchanged from the prior month. The average workweek dipped 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours. The government cut its estimate of new jobs created in July to 189,000 from 209,000. June’s gain was trimmed to 210,000 from 231,000.