The Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated another small drop in the unemployment rate, from 7.4% in July to 7.3% in August. Approximately 169,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payroll, which is little more than had been added in July. The number of long-term unemployed edged up from 37% in July to 37.9% of the total unemployed in August.

A few industries had significant gains in jobs in August, including retail trade (+44,000), health care (+27,000), professional and business services (+23,000), and food services and drinking places (+21,000). Wholesale trade also gained 8,000 jobs, and motor vehicles and parts manufacturing gained 19,000 jobs after losing 10,000 jobs in July.

The information industry lost 22,000 jobs in August, especially in the motion picture and sound recording industries. Other major industries showed very little change for the month of August. Average hourly earnings for private sector nonfarm payrolls have risen by 5 cents in August to $24.05 per hour.

Temporary services added 64,700 jobs – up 2.4% from July. The year-to-year increase for staffing employees is 7.2%.