Employment Situation Across USA – August 2016 (Household & Establishment)

The unemployment situation in the country has witnessed little movement over the last 2-3 months. During the month of August 2016, it continued to remain stable with an unemployment rate of 4.9%, the same as last month. In aggregate, the economy added a little over 151,000 jobs across various sectors and industries. It must be noted that there were 255,000 jobs added in last the calendar month.

The service industry continued to churn out the highest numbers of jobs in the USA compared to its manufacturing counterpart. The number of unemployed persons in the country stood at 7.8 million. Let’s explore the monthly news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor titled “ The Employment Situation – August 2016” to mine some interesting data and draw comparisons.

Unemployment Rate Among Major Workers Groups

  • Adult Men – 4.5%
  • Adult Women – 4.5%
  • Teenagers – 15.7%

While the number of jobless workers in the category of adult men came down by 0.1 percentage points, the adult women category recorded a small rise of 0.2 percentage points in comparison with last month. Unemployment among teenagers continues to be premium with no signs of improvement.

Unemployment Rate Among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 8.1%
  • Asians – 4.2%
  • Whites – 4.4%
  • Hispanics – 5.6%

The unemployment among Blacks was down by 0.3 percentage points from last month. Notably, the joblessness among Asians edged up considerably by 0.4 points. Hispanics and Whites continued to exhibit stable employment in the respective categories.

General Highlights

  • At 2.0 million, those falling under the category of long-term unemployed remained the same as last month. Jobless workers who continue to remain unemployed for 27 weeks or more were considered.
  • The number of people who worked part-time for economic reasons was 6.1 million. They are tagged so because of their availability to work full time but involuntary reasons kept them at bay.
  • In the category of marginally attached to the labor force, a little over 1.7 million persons were tagged under this. Since people falling under this segment had not looked for employment in 4 weeks before the survey, they were not considered as “unemployed”.
  • In the classification above, a little over 576K workers were tagged, discouraged workers. They were classified so since they are currently not looking for employment due to jobs being unavailable to match their skills.

Employment Data in Various Industries (Top Highlights)

1) The food services and drinking places sector was the highest job creator with 34,000 employment opportunities. Since the same month in 2015, it has added a whopping 312,000 jobs to the economy.

2) Surprisingly, social assistance added a little over 22,000 jobs in its kitty. In this category, individual and family services topped the charts with 17,000 job additions.

3) Mining continued to lose jobs as the case has been, over the year or so. In August 2016, it lost 4,000 jobs.

Other Highlights
  • The average workweek for all employees came down by 0.1 hours to clock 34.3 hours in August.
  • The manufacturing workweek also came down by 0.2 hours to register 40.6 hours. Overtime remained the same as last month, i,e 3.3 hours.
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees was $25.73, up by 4 cents from July 2016.
  • The average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees in the private sector was $21.64, up by 5 cents.


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