The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment growth has averaged 185,000 per month during the past three months.

The August jobless rate was 4.4 percent versus 4.3 percent in July and 5.0 percent in August 2016. Unemployment among major worker groups changed little in August: 4.1 percent adult men; 4.0 percent adult women: 13.6 percent teenagers; 3.9 percent whites; 7.7 percent blacks; 4.0 percent Asians and 5.2 percent Hispanics.

August's employment growth occurred in construction, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and professional and technical services.

  • 20,000 healthcare jobs added in August, bringing this sector's employment to 328,000 over 2017.
  • 28,000 construction jobs added in August. There had been little growth in this sector over the previous five-month period.
  • 22,000 professional and technical services jobs added. This sector has grown by 262,000 in the prior 12 months.
  • 36,000 manufacturing jobs added in August. Automakers added 13,700 jobs.

The employment-to-population ratio, or percentage of the labor force with paid work, was 60.1 percent in August compared with July's 60.2 percent.

The Labor Department conducted its household survey and establishment survey — the two metrics the federal government uses for its monthly employment situation summary — before the arrival of Hurricane Harvey. Consequences from that weather disaster will show up in the BLS's September employment situation summary.

"In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $26.39, after rising by 9 cents in July," according to the Labor Department. "Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent."

The economy's current expansion began in June 2009, when the Great Recession ended. This 99-month expansion is the third-longest in American history.

"The job market continues to power forward," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. ADP Research Institute produces a monthly analysis of the U.S. economy in conjunction with Moody's Analytics, which has been a nonratings part of Moody's Corporation for the past decade.

"Mounting labor shortages are set to get much worse," according to Zandi. Labor shortages tend to increase workers' wages, as employers have a smaller pool of applicants to hire from, increasing job applicants' power to bargain up hourly pay.

The nation's small businesses added 48,000 jobs in August, according to ADP.

Companies with 1-19 employees added 18,000 jobs versus employers with workforces of 20-49 adding 30,000 jobs. The goods-producing sector added 9,000 jobs compared with 39,000 jobs created in the service sector.

"The rate of job growth is respectable but certainly should not raise concerns about being too rapid," according to Dean Baker, an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., "especially given continued weakness in wage growth."