Hiring weakened across most major industries in August, cooling the sizzling job growth from earlier this summer.
Growth decelerated sharply in professional and business services, a category that includes higher-paying jobs such as engineers, accountants and architects as well as lower-paying temporary positions. The category added only 22,000 jobs, down from 80,000 added in July. Temp help firms shed 3,100 positions.
The number of government jobs rose 25,000 in August, half the increase for July. Likewise, hotels and restaurants added just 29,000 jobs, down from 45,000 a month earlier. Bucking the trend, the retail sector accelerated its pace of hiring, with gains at food stores, auto and auto parts dealers and home and garden stores.
Construction and manufacturing shed jobs after having posted increases in July.
Overall, employers slowed their hiring and added a modest 151,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent.