Companies kept adding to payrolls in August while measures of slack in the labor market were little changed, signaling steady hiring in the face of lackluster global growth.
Payrolls climbed by 151,000 last month following a 275,000 gain in July that was larger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 180,000. The jobless rate and labor participation rate held steady, while wage gains moderated.
The August figure is consistent with a simmering-down of payrolls growth so far this year as the economy slogs through a period of weak investment and some companies have difficulty finding workers. Federal Reserve officials will have to weigh the jobs data as they decide whether to raise the benchmark interest rate for the first time in 2016.
“This expansion is getting long in the tooth, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that trend job growth would begin to moderate,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report.
The 89 estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 92,000 to 255,000 after a previously reported 255,000 July increase. Revisions subtracted a net 1,000 jobs from overall payrolls in the previous two months, as June’s increase was cut to 271,000 from 292,000.