Speed Reads

Jobs Numbers

The U.S. economy created 173,000 jobs in August

The American economy added 173,000 jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. It's a definite downgrade from the 215,000 initially reported in July, and the 244,000 average of the past year. But on the plus side, both June and July numbers were revised up: from 231,000 to 245,000, and from 215,000 to 245,000, respectively.

On top of that, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent, while the labor force participation held steady for the third month in a row at 62.6 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 2.2 percent from where they were a year ago.

Analysts were expecting 217,000 new jobs, an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, and 2.1 percent growth in average hourly earnings.

Earnings growth is still flat compared to what a real recovery would signal, and even at the higher 244,000 average rate of job creation, the hole in the economy will not close until well into 2017.