US Unemployment Rate At 7-1/2 Year Low


Jobless rate in the US declined to 5.1 percent and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August. It is the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008 as the number of unemployed edged down to 8 million.

The unemployment rate edged down to 5.1 percent, and the number of unemployed persons edged down to 8.0 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1 p.p. and 1.5 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 4.4 percent. While the rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.7 percent), teenagers (16.9 percent), blacks (9.5 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks decreased by 393,000  to 2.1 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless  for 27 weeks or more) held at 2.2 million and accounted for 27.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 779,000. 

The civilian labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was about unchanged and has shown little movement thus far this year. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.5 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In August, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 329,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)  These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 624,000 discouraged workers, down by 151,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours in August. The manufacturing workweek was unchanged at 40.8 hours, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. 

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $25.09, following a 6-cent gain in July. Hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent over the year. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.07 in August.


US Unemployment Rate At 7-1/2 Year Low


BLS | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
9/4/2015 1:57:00 PM