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Economy adds 156K jobs in August

The economy added 156,000 jobs in August, below economists’ expectations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point, to 4.4 percent, while the labor force participation rate stayed steady at 62.9 percent.

Manufacturing added 36,000 jobs last month, while construction employment rose by 28,000. Roughly 20,000 jobs were added in health care.

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August’s numbers fall slightly short of previous months, and came in below economists’ predictions that the economy would add roughly 180,000 jobs. 

Meanwhile, employment gains for June and July were both revised down. July added 189,000 jobs, as opposed to the 209,000 originally reported, while June saw gains of 210,000, instead of 231,000. Wage growth also lagged at 3 cents for non-farm workers, compared to 9 cents in July.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that “while today’s jobs report shows we have much more work to do to get wages growing, I welcome the continued job creation.“

Brady said he was pleased the economy grew by 3 percent of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2017 and that his committee’s efforts to cut taxes could boost American hiring.

“Working together with President Trump and our colleagues in the House and Senate, I’m confident we can deliver pro-growth tax reform this year that improves the lives of all Americans,” Brady said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the report showed that “Americans still aren’t getting the bigger paychecks they deserve,” and slammed Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare and cut taxes for the wealthy.

“Hard-working men and women across America are being left behind by a Republican White House and Congress that have no jobs plan and have failed to demonstrate a true commitment to working families,” Pelosi said.

Economy professor and New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers wrote on Twitter that the labor market might be “a tad weaker than we thought” in July.

“A tad. A tiny little tad. Really, it’s about the same” he said.

Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura, said low productivity growth and other structural factors will hold down overall economic growth in a Friday research note.

—Updated at 10:55 a.m. 

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