Bureau of Labor Statistics Report Veterans Unemployment Falls to 4.3%

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FORT DIX, NJ - FEBRUARY 28: Potential employer Don Lupton (R) speaks with Tech Sgt. Kenneth Carness during the Hiring Heroes Career Fair on February 28, 2007 in Fort Dix, New Jersey. The job fair is one in a series since 2005 to assist wounded Iraq War veterans in finding jobs once they leave the military. An estimated 350 soldiers were able to meet with about 40 employers from the Department of Defense, other Federal agencies, and private sector firms with positions available for injured service members and their spouses. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%.  Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.

Incorporating revisions for June and July, which reduced non-farm payroll employment by 1,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 232,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 months prior to August, employment growth averaged 204,000 per month.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were up by 3 cents in August to $25.73. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4%. From July 2015 to July 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.9% (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

In August, most major labor market measures from the survey of households continued to show little or no change. The unemployment rate was 4.9% for the third consecutive month and has shown little net movement during the past year. There were 7.8 million unemployed persons in August, about the same as a year earlier. In August, 2.0 million unemployed persons had been searching for work for 27 weeks or more; these long-term unemployed accounted for 26.1% of the unemployed, little changed from a year earlier.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8%, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7%, were unchanged over the month. Among the employed, 6.1 million worked part time for economic reasons in August, little changed from July. (These involuntary part-time workers would prefer to work full time, but had their hours cut or were unable to find full-time jobs.)

Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in August, 1.7 million were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 576,000 in August, also about the same as a year earlier. (Marginally attached to the labor force refers to those who had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.)

In summary, non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9%. Veteran overall unemployment fell from 4.7% to 4.3%.