Jobs Report and the Monthly Employment Growth Statistics

Why 315,000 Jobs Were Gained in August 2022

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The U.S. economy gained 315,000 jobs in August 2022. Job gains have remained consistent, easing some fears that a recession is looming.

The good hiring market has stoked speculation that officials at the Federal Reserve will be more aggressive in their campaign to raise interest rates to fight inflation. Higher interest rates discourage borrowing and spending by businesses and individuals and slow economic activity.

As of August 2022, there were 6 million unemployed people in the United States. The big swings in job losses and job gains in the last two years reveal the tremendous impact of the pandemic on the U.S. economy.

As the chart below shows, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, job gains skyrocketed in June 2020 as people started working remotely and Paycheck Protection Program funds reached businesses. Gains began to dwindle through the rest of the year, with more people losing jobs in December than gaining them.

Gains during 2021 made a dent in total job losses, and the unemployment rate was very close to pre-pandemic levels. By July 2022, the economy had regained all the jobs it lost when the pandemic hit.

Where Jobs Were Added

Professional and business services saw gains in August 2022, adding 68,000 jobs. Employment in health care grew by 48,000 in August.

August also saw increased employment in manufacturing, which added 22,000 jobs. Financial activities jobs increased by 17,000, and 15,000 wholesale trade jobs were added in August.

The U.S. Jobs Report Explained

The monthly jobs report is also called the "Employment Situation Summary" and the "Non-Farm Payroll Report." It's a critical economic indicator because it's the first report of the month. It's also the most comprehensive and credible.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys 144,000 non-farm businesses and agencies on the number of jobs, the wages paid, and the hours worked. The jobs report will tell you which industries are adding jobs, whether American workers are working longer hours, and how fast salaries are increasing.

The jobs report also provides the unemployment rate. To get the number of unemployed individuals, the BLS must undertake a separate survey of households instead of businesses. This household report also includes workers' age, gender, and race/ethnicity. The household survey has a more expansive scope than the establishment survey. It includes the self-employed, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers. They are excluded from the establishment survey.

The household survey is not as accurate as the business establishment report, though. This is because it has a smaller sample size. That's why employment numbers are taken from the establishment survey. So the current unemployment statistics often show a different trend than the jobs report.

Other Jobs Reports

There are two other jobs reports. The monthly ADP National Employment Report is released on the Wednesday before the Employment Situation Report. It's produced by the ADP Research Institute, SM, and Moody’s Analytics. It uses business payroll data to report on the number of jobs added in the private sector. It excludes farming, as does the BLS report. More importantly, though, it also excludes government jobs, which are included in the BLS report. For that reason, it's considered incomplete.

Note

The ADP Report is useful because it's released just before the BLS report, giving you an idea of what to expect from the BLS.

The ADP report gives some analysts an earlier view of what might happen in the Friday report. ADP is quick to say it's not intended to be predictive. Like the BLS report, it's revised as more data comes in later in the month. These revised numbers are closely correlated with the revised BLS jobs report.

The Department of Labor also releases a weekly jobless claims report. This measures the claims for initial unemployment benefits reported by each state every week. It also says how many of the unemployed are still receiving benefits. This report gives an indication of trends and indicates whether there are more or less unemployed than the week before.

The main value of this report is that it is weekly, which gives some idea of trends between the monthly jobs reports. However, the weekly report is too volatile to be a reliable method of predicting monthly job gains and losses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What time is the jobs report released?

The jobs report comes out at 8:30 a.m. EST on the first Friday of each month. It covers the prior month. For example, the report released on January 7, 2022, contained information about December 2021.

How does the jobs report affect the stock market?

Investors closely watch for economic data releases like the jobs report. When it comes out, it's typical to see the market react with short-term volatility. However, this reaction isn't always immediately logical. For example, higher unemployment could seem like a negative for stocks, but the market could interpret it as a signal that interest rates will fall (which tends to push stock prices higher).

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employment Situation Summary."

  2. Moody's Analytics. "U.S. Employment Situation."

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employment Situation Technical Note."

  4. ADP Research Institute. "Enhancements to ADP National Employment Report Frequently Asked Questions."

  5. U.S. Department of Labor. "News Release."

  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Schedule of Releases for the Employment Situation."

  7. National Bureau of Economic Research. "The Stock Market's Reaction To Unemployment News: Why Bad News Is Usually Good for Stocks," Page 2.

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