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A Mixed Picture on Jobs

working phone bankToday’s Employment Situation report from the Labor Department was a mixed bag, featuring plenty of positive details under a disappointing headline jobs number.

At 173,000, the total number of jobs was lower than expected, and especially disappointing as it pertains to the private sector, said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. Private payrolls were up just 140,000.

But upward revisions to the two previous months offered positive signs. July had seen 215,000 new jobs originally, but in this report that was revised up to 245,000. June had 231,000 new jobs, and that number is now 245,000 as well. That means the total upward revision was 44,000, Hughes noted.

Wages rose by 0.3 percent in August. Wages are now 2.2 percent higher than 12 months ago, Hughes said. And the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent.

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