Data released by the Labor Department on Friday indicated that the U.S. economy created just 96,000 non-farm jobs in August.
That fell considerably short of the 125,000 non-farm jobs that economists were expecting the economy to add last month, ABC News noted.
Despite the lower-than-expected number of new jobs, the government said the national unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3% to 8.1%, as almost 400,000 unemployed workers simply gave up searching for new jobs.
Economists had expected that unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
Previous estimates of new jobs added during June and July were also reduced by a total of 41,000. August marked the forty-third consecutive month that the U.S. unemployment rate has remained higher than 8%.
According to the government, manufacturing jobs declined by 15,000 last month, led by automakers who trimmed their factory payrolls by 7,500.
Analysts called the Labor Department numbers “disappointing.”
Today’s government report stands in contrast to better number reported yesterday by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP), which found that private employers added 201,000 new jobs in August, a figure that topped economists’ predictions.
This would not be the first time ADP and the Labor Department have come to different conclusions over the number of jobs added in a month. The government initially calculated 80,000 new jobs added in June, compared to ADP’s estimate of 176,000 for that month.