The U.S. economy added a disappointing 130,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said Friday, heightening fears that President Trump’s trade war is starting to bite and the U.S. economy is hitting a rough patch.
Economists had predicted 160,000 job gains in August. Business owners say they are struggling to find people to hire, and they are growing increasingly nervous about Trump’s trade battle. The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, the lowest in nearly half a century, forcing employers to search harder for new workers.
Right now, the United States is a tale of two economies: The service sector remains strong with health care and business adding a lot of jobs in August. But industries such as mining and manufacturing that depend heavily on selling items overseas are struggling. Manufacturing is already in a recession, and the sector has added few jobs this year, a trend that continued in August. Mining employment fell by 6,000 jobs.
Hiring in August was also boosted heavily by the U.S. government adding 25,000 temporary workers to its payrolls for the 2020 Census.
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