Number of Jobs, Average Earnings Up for August, Government Says

August 2018 Employment Situation Report: Number of Jobs, Average Earnings Up, Government Says

The number of jobs in the country increased by 201,000 for August, as did the average wage which rose by 10 cents to $27.16, according to a new report (PDF) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

August 2018 Employment Situation Report

The unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.9 percent, meaning small businesses are likely retaining more of their workers. But, as small businesses retain their workers, they could face even greater competition for new employees in business sectors where jobs were created.

“Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and mining,” BLS reported.

Snapshot of U.S. Job Gains for August 2108

Of the 201,000 jobs created, most were found in what might be considered traditional industries. Some of the major industries with job gains performed as follows:

  • Professional and business services: Added 53,000 jobs in August and 519,000 jobs over the year.
  • Health care: Added 33,000 jobs in August and 1,000 jobs over the year.
  • Wholesale trade: Added 22,000 jobs in August and 99,000 over the year.
  • Transportation and warehousing: Added 20,000 jobs in August and 173,000 jobs over the year.
  • Mining: Added 6,000 jobs in August and 104,000 jobs over the year.
  • Construction: Added 23,000 jobs in August and 297,000 over the year.
  • Manufacturing: Jobs declined by 3,000 in August, but increased by 254,000 over the year, with more than three-fourths of the gain in the durable goods component.

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including retail trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government,” BLS wrote in its report.

U.S. Unemployment Situation for August, 2018

From the report, it’s more likely these jobs are pulling new workers from those previously not participating in the labor force. The number of unemployed persons stood at 6.2 million, per the report, with the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) standing at 1.3 million in August.

Meanwhile, the number of persons not in the labor force, but who wanted a job and were available for work, referred to as “marginally attached to the labor force,” stood at 1.4 million. This particular group had unsuccessfully looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

“Among the marginally attached, there were 434,000 discouraged workers in August, essentially unchanged from a year earlier,” BLS said.

Small businesses looking to hire might want to consider targeting the discouraged workers, defined as persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. You might also want to target the long-term unemployed instead of competing in the ever-tightening job market.

Image: Bureau of Labor Statistics


David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

2 Reactions
  1. Can’t argue with jobs and earnings going up. Hope it continues.

  2. This is great. It will just keep coming up as the holidays are coming.