August 2015: unemployment rate drops to 5.1 percent

a release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate continued to drop in August, with that month showing an unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent. Non-farm employers saw 173,000 new jobs created, primarily in financial activities and health care services. This is slightly lower than the monthly average so far this year, of 247,000 new jobs per month. As of August, 59.4 percent of the U.S. population is employed. This is consistent with the employment rate this year, and has held steady overall in 2015 thus far. Of those 173,000 new jobs created in August, health care and social assistance (including child day care services and elder care services) saw 56,000 new jobs added. Just over a third of those jobs are in ambulatory health care services; 16,000 jobs were added each for hospital workers and social assistance workers. Professional and business services also saw gains of 33,000, while financial activities added 19,000 jobs (with almost half of them being real-estate positions). Food services and drinking places saw 26,000 new jobs as well. The construction, trade, transportation and government sectors saw little change in job availability in August. In addition, non-farm employees saw an increase in hourly wage earnings by 8 cents, putting the average hourly earnings rate at $25.09. On the downside, the mining industry continued to lose jobs in August, and manufacturing took a hit last month as well. Mining saw a decrease of 9,000 jobs, mostly in mining support, with more than 90,000 jobs lost in the industry over the past 10 months. Manufacturing also saw a decrease, with 17,000 jobs lost. The manufacturing industry had held steady over the summer, but in August, the number of jobs lost in component industries and food manufacturing could not make up for gains in vehicle manufacturing and durable goods.]]>

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