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United States

Report | United States Employment Update - September 2017

Summary

  • ​Monthly gains fell below expectations, but are still solid. The national labor market saw 156,000 net new jobs added in August, a solid figure but below expectations. Additionally, previous months registered downward revisions to job growth, muting some of the rebound witnessed during the summer. Monthly gains were hindered by minimal growth in leisure and hospitality (+4,000 jobs) and further decreases in retail trade, which is now in contraction in annual terms. However, manufacturing continued to gain momentum, while office-using sectors held steady. As a result, unemployment is now holding steady, up 10 basis points over the month to 4.4 percent.
  • A lack of skilled workers combined with minimal unemployment and external difficulties such as housing affordability in tech hubs have significantly slowed tech growth over the year, which is now below the 4.0-percent threshold over the year. In particular, the Bay Area markets of Silicon Valley (+1.0 percent) and San Francisco (+1.8 percent) have seen a noticeable slowdown in job growth. Potential changes to visa and immigration policies are also adding uncertainty to the ability of tech firms to recruit talent.
  • After a jump in inflation due to stabilizing gas prices and rising wage growth, inflation has fallen back below 2.0 percent and has wobbled in recent months, compounding the Federal Reserve's potential options regarding further interest rate hikes. Consistent job growth, however, could likely encourage another hike in the near term.

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