The US economy created an estimated 156,000 jobs in August, falling slightly short of analysts' estimates, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.4 percent; it had been at 4.3 percent.
Economists had predicted a gain of between 170,000 to 180,000 jobs last month. But August job growth often falls short of initial estimates, only to be revised higher later on. Seasonal adjustments for August are challenging because many hiring managers are on vacation and students leave summer jobs and head back to school.
Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also cut previous estimates for job growth in June and July by a combined 41,000 — the July figure was revised to 189,000 from 209,000, and the June number dropped to 210,000 from 231,000.
Still, the average job growth for the past 3 months is 185,000 according to government data. That's quite robust for this point in a recovery, more than enough to put downward pressure on the unemployment rate. August was the 83rd consecutive month of job growth in the U.S. economy.