Jobs Report: Monthly Employment Growth Statistics

Where Were the 151,000 Jobs Added in August?

health worker exam
Healthcare is a strong area for job growth.. Photo: Thinkstock/Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in August. That was a weak follow-through to the 275,000 jobs added in July. That signals a lackluster economy. It's not much higher than the 150,000 new jobs the economy needs to keep growing.

The weak report means it's unlikely the Fed will raise interest rates at its next FOMC meeting. A mediocre economy can also influence the 2016 Presidential campaign. It doesn't favor the incumbent's party.

That weakens Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the next President.

Where Are the Gains?

Health care has consistently been the strongest performer, both during and after the recession. It added 36,100 jobs in August. Leisure and hospitality did nearly as well, adding 29,000 jobs. They aren't as well paid as health care, and so won't contribute as much to overall economic growth. The same is true for retail which added 15,100 jobs. Store managers responded to recent upticks in consumer spending. Now it's softening a bit, possibly because gas prices are no longer falling.  

Financial activities added 15,000 jobs. Banks filled more positions since they expected the Fed will increase interest rates this year. That will bring greater profitability to lenders. Find out why in How Banking Works.

U.S. manufacturing lost 14,000 jobs due to a strong dollar that hurt exports. Durable goods lost 16,000 jobs.

That's partly because of a 5,600 job loss in auto manufacturing. Pay close attention to how many manufacturing jobs are added or lost each month, since this is a future indicator of economic health. That's because factories are less likely to add workers until they have the orders in hand. That provides a better leading indicator of future economic performance than does service employment.

Those job levels stay more consistent through thick and thin. For more specifics, see How Is Employment Defined?

​Information services added 4,000 jobs. This sector is critical to American global competitiveness. For more, see Silicon Valley

The government added 25,000 positions. Temporary services lost 3,100 jobs. Companies often add temp jobs when business is picking up, but they aren't confident enough to add full-time positions. It's also a sign of the freelance economy, which began during the Great Recession. Construction lost 6,000 jobs. That signals weakness in the housing market

Low oil prices continued to hurt the mining industry, which lost 4,000 jobs. That won't improve until 2017. It will take that long for excess supply from U.S. shale oil producers and OPEC to get absorbed. For details, see Future Oil Prices.

What Is the U.S. Jobs Report?

Definition: The monthly Jobs Report is also called the "Employment Situation Summary" and the "Non-Farm Payroll Report." It's a critical economic indicator because its the first report of the month.

It's also the most comprehensive and credible.The Bureau of Labor Statistics  surveys 160,000 non-farm businesses and agencies on the number of jobs, as well as the wages paid, and the hours worked. The jobs report will tell you which industries are adding jobs, whether American workers are working longer hours, and how fast salaries are increasing. 

The jobs report also provides the provides the unemployment rate. To get the number of unemployed, the BLS must undertake a separate survey of households, not businesses. This household report also includes workers' age, sex, and race/ethnicity. The household survey has a more expansive scope than the establishment survey because it includes the self-employed,unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers, who are excluded by the establishment survey. However, it is not as accurate as the business establishment survey because it has a smaller sample size. That's why employment numbers are taken from the establishment survey. Here are Current Unemployment Statistics.

There are two other jobs reports. The monthly ADP National Employment Report® is released on the first Wednesday of each month. It's produced by the ADP Research InstituteSM and Moody’s Analytics. It uses business payroll data to report on the number of jobs added in the private sector. It excludes farming (as does the BLS report) and, more important, government jobs (included in the BLS report). For that reason, it's incomplete. It's important because it's released the Wednesday before the BLS report. It gives some analysts an earlier view of what might happen in the Friday report. ADP is quick to say it's not intended to be predictive. Like the BLS report, it's revised as more data comes in later in the month. These revised numbers are 96% correlated with the revised BLS jobs report. See the latest monthly ADP report.

The Department of Labor also releases a weekly jobless claims report. This measures the claims for initial unemployment benefits reported by each state every week. It also reports how many of the unemployed are still receiving benefits. This report gives an indication of trends, whether there are more or less unemployed than the week before. The main value of this report is that it is weekly, so it gives some idea of trends in between the monthly jobs reports. However, it doesn't accurately predict the monthly report. Furthermore, it is very volatile, which can be very misleading. See the latest weekly jobless claims report.

2016 Jobs Reports

MONTH JOBS  (Final  Report) JOBS  (Original  Estimate)COMMENTS
Jan 168,000 151,000The fastest growing areas were health care, retail, and construction.
Feb 233,000 242,000Retail, health care and construction boosted growth. Mining and manufacturing lost jobs.
March 208,000 215,000Losses in manufacturing and mining nearly offset gains in retail, health care and cons
April 144,000 160,000Gains in health care and banking offset losses in mining, the government, and retail. 
May  11,000   38,000Strong dollar hurts manufacturing exports and oil drillers.
June 292,000 287,000Health care, hospitality, and IT contributed to the strong report.
July 275,000 255,000Health care and hotels added the most jobs.


2015: 2.744 million jobs created

MONTH JOBS  (Final    Report) JOBS  (Original  Estimate)COMMENTS
Jan 221,000 257,000The fastest growing areas were health care, retail and construction.
Feb 265,000 295,000Health care, retail and construction added the most jobs.
Mar  84,000 126,000Temp jobs were the only hopeful sign.
Apr 251,000 223,000Strong growth in health care, construction and temp help.
May 273,000 280,000Health care, retail and hotels/restaurants grew the most.
Jun 228,000 223,000Health care and retail trade added the most jobs.
Jul 277,000 215,000Retail trade and health care were the biggest contributors.
Aug 150,000 173,000Manufacturing lost jobs due to the strong dollar's impact on exports.
Sep 149,000 142,000Mining (the oil industry) and manufacturing lost jobs.
Oct 295,000 271,000Health care, leisure and hospitality, and retail contributed to growth
Nov 280,000 211,000Construction, health care, and retail spurred growth.
Dec 271,000 292,000Health care, construction, and leisure/hospitality added the most jobs. 


2014: 3.015 million jobs created 

Jan187,000133,000The Dow rose 165 points on the strong job gains.
Feb168,000175,000Winter storms limited job creation.
Mar272,000192,000Jobs gains exceeded estimates.
Apr310,000288,000Job gains were across the board except for information technology.
May213,000217,000Health care, leisure and transportation added jobs while IT lost them. 
Jun306,000288,000Retail, health care, leisure, government and IT added.
Jul232,000202,000Lower than expectations but still a solid gain. Increases were in health care, retail, and hotels/restaurants.
Aug218,000142,000Health care and construction added the most jobs, while retail, auto manufacturing and IT lost jobs. 
Sep286,000248,000Retailers added jobs for back-to-school. Leisure (hotels, restaurants, bars) and health care also added.
Oct200,000214,000Retailers added workers for Halloween. Leisure and health care also added jobs. Only IT reduced.
Nov331,000321,000The biggest gain in nearly 3 years, thanks to retailers that added jobs for Black Friday. Other strong areas were health care, leisure, and IT.


2013: 2.311 million jobs created 

Feb311,000236,000Growth due to construction and retail trade.
Mar135,000  88,000Disappointing jobs report blamed on weather and retail layoffs.
Apr192,000165,000The strong report sent the Dow above 15,000.
May218,000175,000Dow rose 200 points. Housing added jobs.
Jul140,000162,000Most growth in low-paying retail and restaurants.
Aug269,000169,000Job gains were in low-paying retail and restaurant sectors. 
Sep185,000143,000Investors cheered because the Fed would keep monetary policy loose.
Oct189,000204,000The government shutdown delayed the survey allowing more businesses to report.
Nov291,000203,000Across-the-board job growth.
Dec  45,000  71,000Job losses were across the board, mainly from poor holiday sales.


2012: 2.149 million jobs created 

Jan338,000243,000Most job growth was in business services, hospitality, and manufacturing
Feb257,000227,000Business growth made everyone think the economy had finally healed.
Mar239,000120,000Poor growth across the board, and retail shed jobs.
Apr  75,000115,000Two sectors weren't doing well -- construction and government. Housing was hampered by foreclosures, and government was cutting budgets.
May115,00065,000Seasonal weakness sent the Dow down 275 points.
Jun  87,00080,000The Dow dropped 180 points on the poor jobs report.  
Jul143,000163,000The Dow gained 217 points on the strong report.
Sep181,000114,000Former GE CEO Jack Welch was  suspicious that so many jobs were added right before the Presidential election. It's explained here.
Oct132,000171,000The strong jobs report came out a week before the election. Data was collected before Superstorm Sandy hit.
Nov149,000146,000The storm devastated New York, but didn't affect national jobs numbers.
Dec243,000155,000Uncertainty over the fiscal cliff forced businesses hire less.


2011: 2.087 million jobs created 

Jan  42,00036,000The economy had 984,000 more jobs than the year before.
Feb188,000192,000Manufacturing jobs were up 189,000 year-over-year.
May  73,00054,000The poor jobs report sent the Dow and dollar down, and gold up.
Jun235,00018,000The dismal jobs report panicked investors.
Jul  70,000117,000The Dow dropped 400 points despite job gains.
Aug107,000Astonishingly, absolutely no jobs were created, giving urgency to Obama's jobs speech the following week.
Sep246,000103,000The economy added 2 million since the low point in February 2010, but was still down 6.7 million jobs since the high in January 2008.
Nov146,000120,000Strong retail sales boosted job growth.
Dec207,000200,000The economy added 1.6 million jobs in 2011


2010: 1.066 million jobs created 

Jan  28,00018,000 52,000 temporary jobs were added, of which 9,000 were for the Census.There were 4 million fewer jobs than the year before.
Feb -69,000-50,000The economy had 3.2 million fewer jobs than February 2009. The Census added 15,000 temporary jobs, boosting the 48,000 temp jobs made available.
Mar163,000156,000There were 2.3 million fewer jobs, and 633,000 fewer manufacturing jobs,  than a year earlier.
Apr 243,000290,000The Census added 63,000 temp jobs, and manufacturing added 44,000 jobs. But there's still 1.3 million fewer jobs than the year before.
May 522,000431,000The  Census added 411,000 temp jobs.
Jun-133,000-125,000The Census laid off 225,000 temp workers.
Jul  -70,000-121,000The Census laid off 143,000, but business hiring was up by 71,000 jobs.
Aug  -34,000-31,000There were 130.3 million jobs, a gain of 229,000 jobs in the past year and the first y-o-y job GAIN in 26 months.
Sep  -52,000-91,000There were 130.2 million jobs, 344,000 more than the year earlier.
Oct 257,000150,000The economy had 829,000 more jobs than the year before.
Nov 123,00039,000There were 842,000 more jobs than the year before.
Dec   88,000103,000Businesses added 117,000 jobs, but government laid off 10,000.


2009: 5.070 million jobs lost


JOBS ADDED (Original)





The economy lost 2.4 million jobs, including 1 million manufacturing jobs, in the past 12 months.




4.1 million jobs, including 1.2 million in manufacturing, were lost Y-O-Y.




4.8 million jobs lost Y-O-Y, the most since the 2001 recession.
April-686,000-611,000There were 5.3 million fewer jobs than a year before.




Manufacturing was hit especially hard, as 1.6 million were lost Y-O-Y.




There were 5.4 million fewer jobs than the year before, including 1.6 million in manufacturing, Health care added 34,000 jobs.




There were 6 million fewer jobs than the prior July, including 1.67 manufacturing jobs.




The economy lost 6.2 million jobs YOY, including 1.6 million in manufacturing.
Sep-219,000N.A.The economy was down just 6 million jobs.
Oct-200,000N.A.There were now 5.8 million fewer jobs than last year.
Nov    -6,000N.A.4.8 million jobs were lost in the past 12 months.
Dec-279,000N.A.4.2 million jobs were lost in 2009. This trend has been improving since July, when the economy was down 6 million jobs. Also, manufacturing was down 1.3 million jobs in the past 12 months -- better than in June.


2008: 3.569 million jobs lost

Jan 15,000  -17,000.6% growth over last year, but manufacturing lost  2.7% jobs. 
Feb-87,000  -63,000.4% growth over last year, while manufacturing lost 3% of its jobs.
March-78,000  -80,000This was the worst monthly job loss since the last recession, and  a mere .18% gain in the last year. The last time year-over-year job growth trended down this severely was in 2001, which led to 29 months of job losses.
April-210,000  -20,000There were only .18% more jobs, and 3.38% fewer manufacturing jobs, than in April 2007
May-185,000  -49,000Year-over-year, employment declined .11%. This was the first time there was a decline in year-over-year jobs since 2003, the end of the last recession. There were 3.55% fewer manufacturing jobs. 
June-165,000  -62,000Employment was down from the prior year. 
July-209,000  -51,000In the last year 150,000 jobs were lost, a .37% decline.
Aug-266,000  -84,000Employment declined .5% during the year.
Sep-452,000-159,000Employment declined .64% during the year.
Oct-473,000-240,000There were 1.5 million fewer jobs than last year.
Nov-769,000-533,000In the last 12 months, 1.9 million jobs were lost -- 604,000 were in manufacturing.
Dec-695,000-524,000Employment declined by 2.5 million jobs, faster than in the 2001 recession, which never lost more than 2.1 million jobs in any 12-month period.

2007 Employment Statistics

  • December: Only 18,000 new jobs were added. Year-over-year, jobs increased only 1%, while manufacturing jobs were down 1.5%. This was the worst performance this year.
  • November: Only 94,000 new jobs were added, an increase year-over-year of only 1.1%, the worst since 2004. Manufacturing jobs were down 1.3% from the prior year.
  • October: Although the economy added 166,000 new jobs from September to October, year-over-year was up only 1.2%, the worst since 2004. Manufacturing jobs also continued their worsening trend, down 1.6% since the prior year.
  • September: Jobs increased 1.2% year-over-year, the weakest job growth since 2004, and increased 110,000 from the previous month. Manufacturing jobs declined 1.6% from the year before.
  • August: Since the previous month, 4,000 jobs were eliminated in the overall economy, while year-over-year jobs only increased by 1.2%. Manufacturing jobs declined 1.5% from the year before.
  • July: Only 92,000 jobs were created in July, which resulted in a 1.4% increase from the year before. Manufacturing jobs declined 1.2% from the year before.
  • June: Although jobs overall increased 1.5% year-over-year, manufacturing jobs declined 1.3%.
  • May: There were 1.2% fewer manufacturing jobs than the year before, despite an increase of jobs overall of 1.5%.
  • April: Although jobs increased 1.4%, manufacturing jobs declined 1.1% year-over-year.
  • March: Employment increased 1.4%, dragged down by a .6% decline in manufacturing jobs.

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