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Employers added 173,000 new jobs in August

  1. Employers added 173,000 new jobs in August, according to the latest data from the Department of Labor, released Friday morning.
  2. The unemployment rate fell slightly, to 5.1 percent.
  3. This was a bit below consensus expectations of economic forecasters, who thought we'd get about 223,000 new jobs.
  4. Revisions to June and July data added a net of 44,000 more jobs.
  5. This information will certainly be on the minds of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee when it meets later this month, but it's not entirely clear which way it will cut.

The recovery has been remarkably consistent

Since January 2011, by which point the ups and downs of the stimulus and the decennial census were behind us, the economy has been adding jobs at a remarkably consistent "slow and steady" pace. There have been a lot of big economic policy stories both at home and abroad, but the pace of labor market improvement has been very consistent.