Hiring likely slowed in August as the US-China trade war raged

Hiring likely slowed in August as the US-China trade war raged

Hiring likely slowed in August as the US-China trade war raged

President Donald Trump shrugged off the slowdown in job growth, tweeting "Good Jobs Numbers", and claiming that "China is eating the Tariffs". The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent for a third straight month as more people entered the labor force.

"This morning's job report is consistent with our forecast of a gradually slowing economy", Doug Duncan, the chief economist at Fannie Mae, said in a statement.

The increase fell short of Wall Street estimates for 150,000, while the unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%, as expected.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 130,000, some 28,000 less than analysts expected and a 29,000 drop from July, but average hourly earnings increased slightly and jobless rates remained steady.

"In the last few years of the expansion, we've seen women really lead the way when it comes to labor force participation", said Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hire Lab. Women make up a disproportionate share of workers in some sectors that are seeing strong job gains, such as health care and education, he said. The actual job numbers hadn't been released, and he hadn't yet received an advanced look, but the president was apparently referring to an ADP report on private-sector hiring, which often differs from the actual, official data.

The federal government hired 25,000 temporary workers in preparation for the 2020 Census in August, giving the overall jobs gain a big bump.

The U.S. economy added just 130,000 jobs in August, wrapping up a summer of tepid growth in the nation's job market, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday.

Other factors favoring slower job growth include declines in both the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing and services industries employment measures in August. In addition, retaliatory tariffs from China have cut into US exports.

The slower pace of hiring does suggest that Trump's trade war with China might be discouraging some companies from hiring.

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Consumer spending and the labor market have been strong.

Labor market resilience was also underscored by a third report from the Labor Department on Thursday which showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 217,000 for the week ended August 31. The rate was flat for a positive reason: Americans surged into the workforce, lifting the proportion of adults working or looking for work to its highest level since February. Consumer spending rose in the April-June quarter by the most in five years. U.S. Treasury yields fell.

Job growth has been slowing since mid-2018.

Private payrolls rose by only 96,000 jobs in August.

Construction payrolls increased by 14,000 jobs after slipping by 2,000 in July. The moves come as the latest industrial production figures from Germany give "a convincing signal that Germany is in recession", Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said on Friday.

Manufacturing has ironically borne the brunt of the Trump administration's trade war, which the White House has argued is meant to boost the sector. That pace is more than enough to keep up with population growth and over time could reduce the unemployment rate, now near a 50-year low of 3.7%, even further. Retailers cut 11,000 jobs, the seventh straight month of decline, is partly a reflection of the impact of online shopping.

Government employment jumped by 34,000 jobs. There were increases in professional and business services, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, financial activities and wholesale trade employment.

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