August 2019 Economic Report

by Zac Reinke

The August 2019 Economic Report below was created just for you, employers. It is fueled by information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Yahoo Finance, and FedPrimeRate.com. At the end of the report, check out this month’s hiring tip!


August 2019 Economic Report

Hiring tip: Navigating the dos and don’ts of interview questions can be like walking through a minefield. Although you undoubtedly know not to ask about a person’s race or religion, you may be surprised at some of the questions the EEOC says you’re not allowed to ask! The important thing to keep in mind is this: The information you obtain and request through the pre-employment process should be aimed solely at determining qualifications without regard to such irrelevant criteria as race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, and religion. Read more.

If you’re unable to view the August 2019 Economic Report, here’s a quick summary:

  • The unemployment rate remained at 3.7% for the third month in a row, and the number of unemployed persons was much the same at 6 million.
  • Total nonfarm payroll employment went up by 130,000 in August. Job growth is averaging 158,000 per month so far this year. This is below the average monthly gain in 2018 at 223,000.
  • Professional and business services added 37,000 jobs with 10,000 of them in computer systems design and similar services and in management of companies and enterprises.
  • Federal government added 28,000 jobs due to hiring 25,000 temporary workers for the 2020 census.
  • Health care added 24,000 jobs with 12,000 of them in ambulatory health care services and 9,000 in hospitals.
  • Financial activities added 15,000 jobs with 7,000 of them in insurance carriers and similar activities.
  • Social assistance added 13,000 jobs. This industry has added 100,000 jobs in the last 6 months.
  • Retail trade lost 11,000 jobs. General merchandise stores lost 15,000 over the month while building material and garden supply stores added 9,000.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $28.11 in August, following 9-cent gains in June and July.
  • U.S. job openings dropped to a rate of 4.6% in July, from 4.7% in June.
  • Dow Jones fell by 1.8% during the month of August.
  • Housing starts declined by 4.1% to in July, following a 0.9% decline in June.
  • Consumer price index increased by 0.3%.
  • Federal prime rate decreased 0.25% to 5.25%.
  • Retail inventories decreased by 0.3% in June to $661.1 billion.
  • Manufacturing hours worked per week increased by 0.5% in July to 40.6 hours.
  • Manufacturing new orders increased by 1.4% in July to $500.3 billion.

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