September 05, 2023

August jobs report shows ‘continued cooling,’ supports pause on rates

data flashNew data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed 187,000 jobs were added in August, while gains in July and June were revised down 30,000 and 80,000, respectively. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long provided insights in a new Macro Data Flash report.

“The August jobs report showed continued cooling in the labor market,” Long said. “The increase in the unemployment rate is notable but not a major concern. It primarily reflects a surge in labor force participation, with teenaged workers comprising an outsized share of that surge.”

The unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent in August, and the labor force participation rate climbed to 62.8 percent. Year-over-year wage growth fell to 4.3 percent, with average hourly earnings rising just 0.2 percent during the month.

“Monthly wage growth fell to its lowest level in over a year, but average hours worked grew, suggesting that workers are not at risk of seeing rising layoffs any time soon. Overall, this was a dovish report that supports a pause on rate hikes from the Federal Reserve,” Long concluded.

Results among private sector industries were mostly positive. Education and health saw the largest gains (+102,000), followed by leisure and hospitality (+40,000). The transportation and warehousing sector lost 34,000 jobs – reflecting the Yellow bankruptcy.

For more up-to-date economic insights from NAFCU's award-winning research team, view NAFCU’s Macro Data Flash reports.