This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rose by 96,000 jobs in August, falling lower than expected by many economists. This also falls below the monthly average seen so far in 2012 (average of 139,000 jobs gained per month since January 2012). Despite the lower than hoped for numbers, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% last month. In addition to initial results for August, employment numbers for June and July were also adjusted, down a combined 41,000 jobs.
Food and drinking places increased employment by 28,000, the most of any industry last month and brought their 12-month job gains total to 298,000. Professional and technical services (+27,000), healthcare (+17,000), utilities(+9,000) and finance and insurance (+11,000) were also noted to have gains last month. However, manufacturing dropped by 15,000, with a significant decline seen in auto manufacturing.
Along with these preliminary numbers for August, the BLS issued final job gains for June, revised from +64,000 to +45,000 (adding 10,000). July numbers were also revised, decreasing by 22,000 jobs from +163,000 to +141,000.