Nonfarm Payrolls Rose 142K in August, Missing Expectations; Unemployment Rate Flat at 6.1%

September 5, 2014 8:30 AM EDT

(Updated - September 5, 2014 8:47 AM EDT)

Aug. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls 142K vs 230K Expected; Unemployment Rate 6.1%

UPDATE - More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Household Survey Data

In August, both the unemployment rate (6.1 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (9.6 million) changed little. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates in August showed little or no change for adult men (5.7 percent), adult women (5.7 percent), teenagers (19.6 percent), whites (5.3 percent), blacks (11.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.5 percent). The jobless rate for Asians was 4.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 192,000 to 3.0 million in August. These individuals accounted for 31.2 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.3 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in August and has been essentially unchanged since April. In August, the employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the third consecutive month but is up by 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in August at 7.3 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In August, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 201,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 775,000 discouraged workers in August, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in August, compared with an average monthly gain of 212,000 over the prior 12 months. In August, job growth occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in August and has added 639,000 over the past year. In August, management of companies and enterprises gained 8,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up over the month in administrative and support services (+23,000), architectural and engineering services (+3,000), and in management and technical consulting services (+3,000).

Employment in health care increased by 34,000 in August. Within the industry, offices of physicians and hospitals added 8,000 jobs and 7,000 jobs, respectively. Social assistance employment continued to trend up over the month (+9,000) and has expanded by 104,000 over the year.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in August (+22,000) and is up by 289,000 over the year.

Construction employment continued to trend up in August (+20,000). This is in line with its average monthly job gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. In August, employment trended up in specialty trade contractors (+12,000) and construction of buildings (+7,000).

Manufacturing employment was unchanged in August, following an increase of 28,000 in July. Motor vehicles and parts lost 5,000 jobs in August, after adding 13,000 jobs in July. Auto manufacturers laid off fewer workers than usual for factory retooling in July, and fewer workers than usual were recalled in August. Elsewhere in manufacturing, there were job gains in August in computer and peripheral
equipment (+3,000) and in nonmetallic mineral products (+3,000), and job losses in electronic instruments (-2,000).

In August, retail trade employment was little changed (-8,000). Food and beverage stores lost 17,000 jobs; this industry was impacted by employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England. Elsewhere in retail trade, automobile dealers added 5,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

In August, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the sixth consecutive month. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 41.0 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.7 hours for the sixth consecutive month.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents in August to $24.53. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 6 cents to $20.68.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from +298,000 to +267,000, and the change for July was revised from +209,000 to +212,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 28,000 less than previously reported.

Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Change from:

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population


Civilian labor force


Participation rate




Employment-population ratio




Unemployment rate

Not in labor force


Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

Adult men (20 years and over)

Adult women (20 years and over)

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)



Black or African American


Asian (not seasonally adjusted)

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Total, 25 years and over

Less than a high school diploma

High school graduates, no college

Some college or associate degree

Bachelor's degree and higher

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs


Job leavers




New entrants


Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks


5 to 14 weeks


15 to 26 weeks


27 weeks and over


Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons


Slack work or business conditions


Could only find part-time work


Part time for noneconomic reasons


Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force


Discouraged workers


- Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

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