U.S. employers added a seasonally adjusted 173,000 jobs in August–the worst monthly gain since March. The figure disappointed economists, who had forecast a gain of 220,000 jobs. Initial estimates for job gains in August have come in on the low side in recent years, only to be revised upward later. August marked the 59th consecutive month of job gains, the longest stretch on record.
Payroll readings in the prior two months were revised up by a total of 44,000 jobs. Employers added 245,000 jobs in both June and July. The average job gain over the past three months was 221,000, a slowdown from the July three-month average of 250,000, but still a healthy pace.