Washington, DC – Employment increased by 173,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1 percent,the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Job gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in
financial activities, while manufacturing and mining lost jobs.
Health care and social assistance added 56,000 jobs in August. Health care employment increased by 41,000 over the month, with job growth occurring in ambulatory health care services (+21,000) and hospitals (+16,000). Employment rose by 16,000 in social assistance, which includes child day care services
and services for the elderly and disabled. Over the year, employment has risen by 457,000 in health care and by 107,000 in social assistance.
In August, financial activities employment increased by 19,000, with job gains in real estate (+8,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+5,000). Over the year, employment in financial activities has grown by 170,000.
Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in August (+33,000) and has increased by 641,000 over the year.
Employment in food services and drinking places continued on an upward trend in August (+26,000), in line with its average monthly gain of 31,000 over the prior 12 months.
Manufacturing employment decreased by 17,000 in August, after changing little in July (+12,000). Job losses occurred in a number of component industries, including fabricated metal products and food manufacturing (-7,000 each). These losses more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000) and in miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+4,000). Thus far this year, overall employment in manufacturing has shown little net change.
Employment in mining fell in August (-9,000), with losses concentrated in support activities for mining (-7,000). Since reaching a peak in December 2014, mining employment has declined by 90,000.
Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change over the month.