The U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly employment report this morning. The U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in the month of August, and the unemployment rate ticked down ever-so-slightly to 7.3 percent. Over the past year, the BLS reports, the unemployment rate has dropped from 8.1 percent.
Economists expected the report to show that 180,000 jobs were added in August, with the unemployment rate remaining the same at 7.4 percent. The report today is thus very close to what was anticipated.
Most of the headline numbers—such as the number of long-term unemployed and the labor force participation rate—saw no major change. Job numbers for June and July, however, were revised down significantly, by a combined 74,000 jobs. (June was revised down from 188,000 to 172,000 and July from 162,000 to a dismal 104,000.)
Professional and business services, of which architecture is a part, increased by 23,000 jobs in August, and this sector is up by 614,000 jobs over the past year. Architectural and engineering services, however, lost 400 jobs in August. (However, the sector is up 28,000 jobs since August 2012.)
Construction added zero net jobs in August. Building construction (both residential and nonresidential) lost jobs, but heavy and civil construction and specialty contractors both added jobs to counter those losses.
These findings basically run parallel to what payroll company ADP and their economic partner Moody's Analytics released in their monthly employment report on Thursday, which showed that the economy added 176,000 jobs in August. According to their report, construction added 4,000 jobs and professional services (of which architecture and engineering services would be a part) added 50,000. ADP and Moody's report was slightly more optimistic for professional services and construction than today's BLS report. But the overall results and trends were similar.
| ||Not Seasonally Adjusted||Seasonally Adjusted|
|Industry (numbers are in thousands)||Aug. 2012||June 2013||July 2013||Aug. 2013||Aug. 2012||June 2013||July 2013||Aug. 2013||Change from July to Aug.|
|Architectural and engineering services||1,343.0||1,369.5||1,372.9||1,370.9||1,324.8||1,356.4||1,353.2||1,352.8||-0.4|
|Residential building construction||597.9||602.0||607.0||607.4||573.9||583.3||583.8||583.2||-0.6|
|Nonresidential building construction||680.3||688.8||698.8||697.9||659.4||678.6||680.8||677.5||-3.3|
|Heavy and civil engineering construction||945.6||939.5||948.4||959.5||877.5||892.5||890.0||891.2||1.2|
|Specialty trade contractors||3,695.9||3,764.2||3,804.6||3,819.9||3,519.5||3,646.2||3,642.9||3,646.5||3.6|