WASHINGTON, Sept 2 — American employers slowed the pace of hiring in August after the surprising surge in the prior month and the jobless rate edged up, the government reported today.

Even with the slowing pace, the job gains bring employment above the pre-pandemic level, the Labor Department said in the closely watched monthly report.

US employment increased by 315,000 jobs last month, the report said, which was in line with what economists were expecting after the 526,000 hires in July.

But the unemployment rate moved back up to 3.7 per cent, after dipping to 3.5 per cent in the prior month, according to the data.


The Federal Reserve is paying close attention to the progression of the hot job market, looking for signs of easing as it tries to cool the economy with steep interest rate hikes to tamp down inflation which has reached a 40-year high.

The data showed wages continued to climb in August, as average hourly earnings rose another 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to US$32.36. Over the past 12 months, worker pay has increased by 5.2 per cent.

Continued upward pressure is a cause for concern since the Fed fears it could lead to a wage-price spiral and push inflation higher. — AFP