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September 7, 2018
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Hiring continued at a strong pace in August with U.S. employers adding 201,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. The numbers came in at or above what economists polled by MarketWatch and Reuters expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9 percent. July's gain was revised to 149,000 from an initially reported 159,000, and June's was reduced from 248,000 to 208,000. Economists had predicted strong hiring encouraged by healthy consumer demand and economic growth. The yearly rate of pay increases hit the highest level since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, rising from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent, CNBC reported. Harold Maass

July 6, 2018
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The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 213,000 jobs in June, exceeding economists' expectations in the latest sign of accelerating economic growth. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted a gain of 200,000 non-farm jobs, on average.

The strong report represented an expected drop from a surge in May. The government on Friday revised May's gains up to 244,000 from the initially reported 223,000, Reuters reported. Just 120,000 new jobs are enough to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent, the lowest since 2000, to 4 percent, as more people entered the work force and students grabbed summer jobs. Average hourly wages rose by 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $26.98. Harold Maass

March 9, 2018
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U.S. employers added 313,000 non-farm jobs in February, exceeding expectations and marking the biggest gain since mid-2016. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted an increase of 222,000 jobs. January's gains were adjusted up to 239,000 from 200,000. Unemployment remained at 4.1 percent, and hourly pay rose by 4 cents to $26.75. The 12-month wage gain fell from 2.8 percent in January to 2.6 percent in February. The slowdown in wage growth pointed to a gradual increase in inflation, suggesting little reason to adjust expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at its next two-day policy meeting, which starts March 20. Harold Maass

February 2, 2018
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U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in January, beating economists' expectations of 190,000 jobs gained, MarketWatch reported. The figure marked a pickup from December, when the economy added a modest 160,000 new jobs, a number adjusted up from the originally reported 148,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. Wages rose by 2.9 percent over the last 12 months, the biggest jump since the Great Recession ended nearly nine years ago, as employers battled for candidates to fill record-high job openings. The figures were the latest in a long series of signs of strengthening employment. Stocks extended their losses after the report, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures down by 255 points. Harold Maass

January 5, 2018
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U.S. employers added 148,000 non-farm jobs in December, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The numbers fell short of the average increase of about 190,000 predicted by economists, and marked a slowdown from an average increase of 232,000 in the two previous months. Economists had been predicting that hiring would slow down eventually, just not this soon. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent. Wages increased by 2.5 percent over the last 12 months, edging up from November's 2.4 percent figure, but still considered sluggish. Harold Maass

December 8, 2017
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The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, exceeding an average forecast by Wall Street economists of a 200,000-job gain. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent. Average wages rose 0.2 percent, or 5 cents, to $26.55 an hour. The numbers provided fresh evidence that hiring and the economy in general continue to grow stronger. U.S. stock futures added to early gains after the monthly employment report was released. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 0.3 percent, while tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures rose by 0.6 percent, and S&P 500 futures were up 0.3 percent. Harold Maass

November 3, 2017
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The economy added 261,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department reported Friday, with the gains falling short of the 325,000-job increase analysts expected but still marking a sharp rebound from September's weakness due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The October gains nudged the unemployment rate down to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent, putting it at its lowest level in 17 years. The initial September employment figures showed a loss of 33,000 jobs that month, but the latest figures indicate that the economy actually gained 18,000 jobs that month. Wages dropped by 1 cent to an average of $26.53 an hour. Harold Maass

October 6, 2017

If you want to get a sense of what two massive hurricanes slamming the U.S. mainland does to the economy, take a look at employment change by industry for September:

Leisure and hospitality job gains dropped by 111,000 in September, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics writing that "a sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey."

Overall, the U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September due to the impact of the hurricanes. Jeva Lange

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