Payrolls Rise by 156,000 as Wages Also Fall Below Forecasts

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of strong gains, but the pace of increase should be more than sufficient for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start trimming its massive bond portfolio.

Anemic wage gain could, however, make the U.S. central bank cautious about raising interest rates gain this year. The Labor Department said on Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 156,000 last month after rising 189,000 in July.

Average hourly earnings rose three cents or 0.1 percent after advancing 0.3 percent in July, keeping the year-on-year gain in wages at 2.5 percent for a fifth consecutive month.

August’s moderation in employment growth, which pushed payroll gains below the 176,000 monthly average for this year likely reflects a seasonal quirk as well as a dearth of qualified workers. Over the past several years, the initial August job count has tended to

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