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US Retailers Didn’t Impact Job Growth in August

American employers added 151,000 nonfarm jobs in August, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

That figure was much less than the 275,000 nonfarm jobs added in July and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.

Although employment in food services (+34,000) and financial activities (+15,000) increased, employment in retail trade, warehousing and manufacturing didn’t change much in August.

Retailers added 15,100 jobs in August, with most employment contributions stemming from building material stores (+7,600) and food stores (+4,800). Other retailers didn’t have a great employment outlook for August, particularly those in the apparel industry. Department stores experienced a decline of 2,800 jobs, while clothing and accessories stores cut 1,800 jobs.

In the transportation and warehousing sector, a total of 14,900 jobs were added in August, with more than 4,000 of those in warehousing and storage. The increase could have stemmed from employers’ greater reliance on advanced logistics technologies, including digital shipping and drone delivery.

Manufacturing employment didn’t experience stellar success in August, with a decline of 14,000 jobs. Textile mills laid off 600 employees, while textile product mills and apparel manufacturing each cut 400 jobs.

In other news, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased to 34.3 hours in August. Manufacturing employers cut their workweek to 40.6 hours and the average workweek for production employees also decreased to 33.6 hours.

On the upside, average hourly wages for all private nonfarm employees increased to $25.73 in August. Private-sector production and non-supervisory employees’ hourly earnings also increased to $21.64. Over the past eight months, average hourly earnings across for all nonfarm employees have increased 2.4%.