U.S. employers added a modest 130,000 jobs in August, a sign that global economic weakness and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China may have begun to slow hiring.
The job gains were lifted by the temporary hiring of 25,000 government workers for the 2020 Census. Excluding all government hiring, businesses added 96,000 jobs, the fewest since May.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained 3.7%, near the lowest level in five decades, for the third straight month. The rate was flat for a positive reason: Americans surged into the workforce, lifting the proportion of adults working or looking for work to its highest level since February.
Job gains have averaged 150,000 a month for the past six months, down from 223,000 for all of last year.