US jobs growth slowed to its weakest level in three months in August despite a boost from temporary hiring for census workers, as uncertainty stemming from the US-China trade war weighed on the labour market.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 130,000 last month, data from Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Friday, short of Wall Street’s expectation for 158,000, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That followed a downwardly revised 159,000 jobs created in July.
The report showed employment in federal government increased by 28,000, driven mostly by the hiring of 25,000 temporary workers to prepare for the 2020 Census.
Job growth has averaged 158,000 per month thus far this year, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 per cent last month, translating to 3.2 per cent year-on-year wage growth, although this was a slip from July’s upwardly-revised 3.3 per cent gain. Economists had forecast a 0.3 per cent and 3.1 per cent rise, respectively.
The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 per cent.
More to come . . .