U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% from 8.3% a month earlier, the Labor Department said Friday.
Trucking added 1,400 jobs, and the transportation sector, of which trucking is a subset, rose by 5,700, Labor figures showed.
The 96,000 nonfarm payroll gain followed a 141,000 increase in July that was smaller than the 163,000 originally reported.
The increase was below economists’ median forecast of a 130,000 gain, Bloomberg reported. Analysts had predicted the unemployment rate would hold at 8.3%.
Private payrolls excluding government workers rose by 103,000, following a revised 162,000 gain in July that was slightly below what was originally reported.
Manufacturing employment fell by the most in two years, with factory payrolls declining by 15,000. Automakers cut 7,500 jobs in August.
Revisions to the two previous months showed a decline by 41,000 jobs, but trucking’s July employment increase was revised upward to 5,500 from an originally reported 3,100.