Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 315,000 in August, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.
In August, the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 3.7 percent, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 6.0 million. In July, these measures had returned to their levels in February 2020, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent) and Hispanics (4.5 percent) rose in August. The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (10.4 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (6.4 percent), and Asians (2.8 percent) showed little change over the month.
Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers increased by 188,000 to 1.4 million in August. The number of persons on temporary layoff was virtually unchanged at 782,000.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.1 million in August. The long-term unemployed accounted for 18.8 percent of all unemployed persons.
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point over the month to 62.4 percent but is 1.0 percentage point below its February 2020 level. The employment-population ratio was little changed at 60.1 percent in August and remains 1.1 percentage points below its February 2020 value.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed at 4.1 million in August. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job declined by 361,000 to 5.5 million in August. This measure remains above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.
Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.4 million, was little changed in August. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 366,000 in August, little changed from the prior month.