The American economy added 156,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at 66,000 jobs. That’s pretty anemic, but August usually tends to be sort of an anemic month for job growth. The headline unemployment rate ticked back up slightly to 4.4 percent, all of it for bad reasons: the number of employed people declined and the number of unemployed people increased. But there was good news for some: the unemployment rate for high school dropout plummeted from 6.9 percent to 6.0 percent.
Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. Considering that inflation has been running around 0 percent all year, that’s not too bad.