Washington, Sep 1 (EFE).- The unemployment rate in the United States rose in August, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thus confirming a slowdown in the labor market due to interest rate hikes.
Net job creation in August was 187,000, slightly higher than in July when revised data showed 157,000 jobs were created (30,000 fewer than initially estimated).
The number is well below the average of 271,000 monthly jobs created over the past twelve months.
Most of the new jobs were in health care, which added 71,000 jobs in August, leisure and hospitality (40,000 new jobs), social assistance (26,000) and construction (22,000).
With these figures, the number of unemployed rose by 514,000 to 6.4 million in August.
Average hourly earnings increased 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $33.82 in August. Over the past twelve months, average hourly earnings have risen 4.3%.
At a public event, US President Joe Biden welcomed the data because solid job creation continues despite the rise in the indicator.
The president recalled that since he took office in January 2021, 13.5 million jobs have been created, about 800,000 of them in the manufacturing sector.
“We’ve created more jobs in two years than any president created in a four-year term. We did it in two years,” he said from the White House Rose Garden.
FEWER JOBS CREATED Political rhetoric notwithstanding, the numbers show that job creation had slowed since last January, when nearly half a million jobs were added, a sign that the labor market is cooling.
Cooling the labor market and the whole economy is the objective of the Federal Reserve, which, for this purpose, has raised interest rates eleven times in the past year and a half to reduce inflation.
In July, after a pause in June, the Federal Reserve decided to resume raising interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest level since 2001.
In a public speech on August 24 at the Jackson Hole Forum in Wyoming, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the regulator will keep rates high until inflation is subdued.
Powell stated that inflation and unemployment data will be carefully considered when deciding whether to raise rates at its next September 19-20 meeting. EFE