The nation’s August jobs report continued the unimpressive pattern of monthly gains in workers being added across America, falling slightly short of analysts’ expectations.
Unchanged was the unemployment rate, which has leveled out at 3.7%, according to Bloomberg.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.4%, bringing the 12-month increase to 3.2%.
Helping pump up the numbers was an increase in 25,000 jobs, added as temporary positions for the 2020 census.
The private sector added 96,000 jobs, weaker than the pace so far in 2019, and an indication that businesses are becoming a little more reluctant to add head count.
The report also revised job gains downward for June and July by 20,000.
Uncertainty over trade policy is likely to reduce U.S. economic output by more than 1% through early 2020, according to new research done by Federal Reserve economists.
The study is among the first by central bank researchers to attempt to quantify the effects of the recent increase in trade-policy uncertainty during the Trump administration.
President Trump has imposed several rounds of tariffs on China, prompting retaliatory measures by Beijing, as part of broader trade negotiations.
He imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in 2018.
In May, months after concluding a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, Trump threatened to hit Mexico with new tariffs to curb migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. He has also threatened to impose tariffs on some European countries.
Economists documented the rise in trade-policy uncertainty with separate text analysis of newspaper articles and corporate-earnings calls. They examined the monthly share of newspaper articles discussing trade-policy uncertainty by doing a text analysis of news stories that included terms related to uncertainty, such as “risk” and “threat,” in addition to terms related to trade-policy uncertainty, such as “tariff,” “import duty” and “anti-dumping.”
The drag on gross domestic product would have begun to ease “had trade tensions not escalated again in May and June 2019,” the economists said. “However, renewed uncertainty since May of 2019 points to additional knock-on effects that may push down Gross Domestic Product further in the second half of 2019 and in 2020.”
Carl R. Tannenbaum, chief economist for Northern Trust in Chicago said, “Many of us are on tenterhooks waiting for this set of (job) numbers. Because of where we are in the business cycle, it’s taken on particular importance.”
Still, the August figures come amid increasing concern that the economy is faltering. The manufacturing sector has been showing signs of weakness and businesses have been more reluctant to make big investments.”
There are 329,408,984 inhabitants in the United States and many of them will be affected by the higher prices being charged on Chinese goods through tariffs and other hyped product prices.