U.S. employers added 142,000 jobs in August, with gains occurring in professional and business services and in health care, but the nation’s jobless rate fell just one-tenth of a point, to 6.1 percent.
Job growth for the month was at its lowest level this year and the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its June and July data to show 28,000 fewer new jobs than previously reported.
Manufacturing employment was unchanged in August, the government said, and retail trade employment was little changed. Construction employment rose.
"Clearly it’s disappointing, but the preponderance of evidence is that the economy is still gaining a lot of traction," Russell T. Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Mich., told Reuters.
The government said the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 192,000, to 3 million, in August. Those people accounted for 31.2 percent of the unemployed.
The government also said the civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in August and has been essentially unchanged since April.
The number of people who were employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in August, at 7.3 million, the government said. Those people were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.