The economy gained 315,000 jobs last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, although the unemployment rate inched up two-tenths of a point to 3.7%.
One of the big winners was professional and business services, which gained 68,000 jobs in August, including 1,700 in accounting and bookkeeping services. Over the past year, the professional and business services sector has added 1.1 million jobs.
Wages also increased overall, with average hourly earnings rising 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $32.36. Over the past 12 months, they’ve increased 5.2%. The labor force participation rate grew by three-tenths of a percentage point to 62.4% but it’s still 1 point below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
“Faced with the Biden recession and crushing inflation, more Americans are now being forced back into the workforce — but it may be too late for small and midsized businesses which are losing jobs,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. “That’s a bad sign for the economy.”
However, his counterpart, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, who chairs the committee, hailed the latest jobs report. “More people are looking for work, and many of them are securing higher paychecks and finding opportunities that better fit their needs,” he said in a statement. “This is what it means to rebuild an economy from the bottom up and middle out.”