The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, falling short of predictions as the global economy slows and the Trump administration’s trade war with China continues.
Analysts expected closer to 164,000 jobs to crop up last month, the same number the economy reportedly added in July but which was later revised lower by 5,000, according to data from the Labor Department published Friday.
The labor force participation rate ticked up to 63.2 percent. Meanwhile, unemployment remained level at 3.7 percent.
However, 25,000 of August’s new jobs were in the public sector, temporary workers hired to work on the 2020 census.
While the economy has largely remained strong despite President Trump’s ever steeper tariffs on Chinese exports, the August jobs numbers are a far cry from April’s figures, when the U.S. added 263,000 new jobs, far surpassing expectations.
The labor market is close to saturation, but the latest numbers will not do much to assuage worries about an approaching recession, which would end the economy’s decade-long expansion.
In a National Association for Business Economics (NABE) survey released last month, 38 percent of more than 200 economists who responded said they believed a recession would hit next year.