The Bureau’s of Labor Statistics latest release announced the US unemployment rate for August 2018, remained unchanged at 3.9 percent. The number raised above the market expectations of 3.8 percent. US employers added 201,000 jobs in August, keeping the unemployment rate steady for two months in a row. Statistics show that jobless rates fell for African-Americans, Asians, college graduates and teenagers, but went up for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The unemployment rate in the United States measures the number of people who are actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labor force. Following a 4.0 percent increase in June 2018, the US unemployment rate dropped at 3.9 in July and remained unchanged in August.
The sectors of health care, education, construction and transportation, warehousing and business services were the ones that added most jobs. Health and education added 40,700 jobs in August, followed by 23,000 jobs added in the construction and transportation sectors; and 20,200 in warehousing. The business and professional services remained the top source of hiring for 12 months in a row, adding 53,000 jobs last month.
However, four industries registered a higher jobless rate in August. The manufacturing industry shed -3,000 positions, the information industry (publishing, telecommunications) -6,000, retail -5,900 and the Government – 3,000. Nonetheless, the total number of added jobs in August reached 201,000.
Regarding the current state of the US economy, experts admit that the overall statistics are not bad. “What’s worth noting is that even though there still remains a lot of headline noise around politics and protectionism, underneath that, the U.S. economy, and that includes labor markets, is doing quite fine” says Michael Gapen, chief United States economist at Barclays.
Since the unemployment rate is one of the factors that indicates the strength of a country’s economy and has a great importance for the forex fundamental analysis; traders should always keep a close eye on the monthly data release of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fact that the 3.9 rate remained steady in August is generally considered to be positive (bullish) for the USD, rather than negative (bearish). According to the report, the average monthly job gain for the US economy over the last 12 months is 203,000.