The United States unemployment rate sharply in August as the summer of 2023 neared a close with a job market in slow-down mode.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports released today, unemployment was 3.8 percent, which is up significantly from July and the highest since February last year.
Non-fund payroll estimates for previous months showed a sharp downward revision that increasing jobless level came as the labor force participation rose to 62.8 percent which is the highest since February 2020 just before the covid declaration.
However non-fund payroll grew by seasonal adjusted 187,000 for the month.
The uptick in job gains came as employment figures for June and July were both revised downwards, and the figures overall signal a steady pace of hiring while the labor market shows signs of cooling.
Policymakers have been struggling to cool the economy and rein in stubborn inflation, with the Federal Reserve lifting interest rates rapidly — recently bringing them to the highest level in over two decades.
But the central bank has also vowed to be data-dependent in its upcoming decisions.
Meanwhile, a relatively strong labor market has added to hopes that the United States can bring inflation down without tipping the economy into a recession.
On Friday, Labor Department data showed that average hourly earnings in August rose 0.2 percent, slower than the month before.
“Employment continued to trend up in health care, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and construction,” the department said.
Employment in transportation and warehousing fell.