Temp Census Workers Buoy Lackluster Jobs Report

NPR reports:

U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department, signaling a slowdown in the pace of job growth. Forecasters surveyed by the Reuters news service had predicted job gains of around 158,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. Manufacturers added just 3,000 jobs.

The jobs total would have been lower without the addition of 34,000 government jobs. Job gains for the two previous months were revised downward by a total of 20,000. The factory sector shrank in August for the first time in the three years.

CNBC reports:

Without the temporary hiring of Census workers, the August jobs report would have been worse. Federal government hired 25,000 temporary workers in preparation for the 2020 Census in August, giving the overall jobs gain a big bump.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 130,000 last month, which fell short of Wall Street estimates for 150,000. Employment in federal government rose by 28,000 in total in August, the Labor Department said on Friday. Private-sector employment was up by only 96,000, the lowest pace since February.