156,000 jobs created in August, as 2017 job gains lag behind 2016

The Labor Department reported Friday that American businesses created 156,000 jobs in August, as the nation's jobless rate remained very low at 4.4 percent, though the rate of jobs being created in 2017 has fallen further behind where the economy was a year ago.

"Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, health care, and mining," the monthly jobs report noted.

Compared to 2016, average month job gains have slowed in the United States - so far in 2017, the economy is adding an average of 175,625 jobs a month. In 2016, it was 193,500.

The growth in jobs continued the streak for the U.S. economy, which has not seen a negative month on job creation since September of 2010 - almost seven straight years.

But economists have long said that monthly job growth needs to be in the 300,000 range, to really help boost overall growth, and get people back into the labor force.

Average hourly earnings changed little in the last month, ticking up 3 cents, following an increase of 9 cents in July.

"Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 65 cents, or 2.5 percent," the report added.

In Congress, Republicans said the jobs report showed the need for tax reform that can boost economic growth.

"Working together with President Trump and our colleagues in the House and Senate, I’m confident we can deliver pro-growth tax reform this year that improves the lives of all Americans," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is charge of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

While the President has spoken out on the need for action on tax reform, the future of that effort remains cloudy in the Congress, which has struggled to deal with major legislation on Mr. Trump's agenda.

Brady's statement on Friday morning was a rare one from Republicans on the jobs report, as GOP lawmakers - who a year ago were quick to demand greater job creation from the Obama Administration - were mainly silent about the latest figures from the Trump Administration.

About the Author