The US has averaged growth of 184,000 jobs per month this year, roughly on pace with last year and well above the level needed to match increases in the working age population.
Many economists believe the gains have put the labor market at or near so-called full employment, and predicted that wages would rise as employers compete for workers.
But wage growth, while steady in July, has not accelerated.
The average hourly wage in the US was $26.36 in July, up 2.5% year-on-year. That was same pace as in June and slower than some prior months.
One reason for the lackluster wage growth may be that many of the job gains this year have been in lower-paid industries such as leisure and hospitality, where the average hourly wage was less than $15.50 in July.
That sector is responsible for almost a quarter of the more than 1m job gains since January.
There could also be more slack in the labor market than anticipated.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 5.3 million people working part-time in July who would have preferred full-time work, little changed since June.
The number of discouraged workers – who are not looking for work because they do not believe there are jobs available – has also changed little since July 2016.
According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 142,000 jobs in August 2014, less than the lowest estimate.
The unemployment rate dipped to 6.1% from 6.2% in July 2014.
The world’s largest economy had been averaging a monthly jobs gain of 212,000 in the previous 12 months.
Part of the sluggish jobs growth was attributed to a loss of 17,000 food and beverage jobs as a result of a supermarket store strike.
Thousands of employees of the Market Basket chain of supermarkets in the northeastern US had gone on strike in July to protest the firing of their boss. The dispute was resolved late last week.
US markets did not react strongly to the news, with all three indexes dipping just slightly lower in early morning trading in New York.
The US economy added 142,000 jobs in August 2014, less than the lowest estimate
There were some bright spots in the August jobs report: wage growth, a crucial sign of the strength of the US economy, ticked up slightly.
Average hourly earnings are now growing at 2.1% year over year. US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has previously indicated that wages are a crucial factor in the Fed’s analysis of the state of the health of the US jobs market.
Employment in the car industry also dipped less than expected, as fewer workers were laid off for factory retooling.
Jobs growth in the professional and business services also continued to lead the recovery, with an additional 47,000 jobs adding in August, bringing the yearly total to 639,000.
Most analysts believe that the sluggish August figure will give central bankers pause for thought as they consider when to end the Fed’s extraordinary support of the US economy.
The Fed is scheduled to meet on September 16-17.
Many have wondered whether or not so-called “hawks”, who favor increasing interest rates, would be able to persuade other members of the committee to move forward the bank’s plans to raise interest rates from their historically low levels of 0%.
The US economy created 96,000 jobs in August, according to official figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is less than was expected.
However, the figure was lower than expected and revisions to June and July data mean that 41,000 fewer jobs were created than previously reported.
Analysts had expected non-farm payrolls to grow by 125,000 last month.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, compared with 8.3% in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work.
The US economy created 96,000 jobs in August, according to official figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment increased in food services and drinking places, professional and technical services and healthcare during August, the Bureau said.
Employment growth has averaged 139,000 a month in 2012, the Bureau said, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
The percentage of Americans who either have a job or who are looking for one fell to 63.5%, the lowest participation rate since 1981.
The weak figures could put pressure on President Barack Obama in his re-election campaign, given than rival Mitt Romney has put jobs at the centre of the national debate.
Mitt Romney described the figures as “more of the same for middle-class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression”.
He claims his economic plan will create 12 million new jobs by the end of his first term.
The figures are also seen as making it more likely that the US Federal Reserve will provide further economic stimulus measures in the form of quantitative easing, as hinted at by chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech on 31 August.
A survey released on Tuesday indicated that growth in the US manufacturing sector remained weak.
The Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 51.5 in August compared with 51.4 in July. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Figures released last week showed that the US economy grew at an annualized pace of 1.7% in the second quarter of the year.
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