The widely anticipated US August jobs report headlined with a disappointing 173k increase in nonfarm payrolls (lowest since March). The silver lining was in the 44k upward revision of the previous two months and the decline in the unemployment rate to fresh seven-year lows of 5.1% from 5.3%. The decline 41K decrease in the labour force was too small to reduce the participation rate, which remained unchanged at 62.6%.
Average hourly earnings rose by a 5-month high of 0.3% m/m and 2.2% y/y in August. Both series are above their 3-month average, but they remain far below their 2007 highs of 0.6% m/m and 4.0% y/y. Some economists deem the rates as disappointing given the notable increases in minimum wages.