AT A GLANCE

  • The U.S. economy added 156,000 non-farm jobs in August 2017, below economists’ estimates of 170,000-180,000
  • The largest gains were found in manufacturing, especially in motor vehicles and parts, fabricated metal products, and computer and electronic products
  • A survey by Linkedin ProFinder reveals that more freelancers are reporting earning the equivalent of a six-figure salary or higher

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October 01, 2017

DCR National Temp Wage Index - October 2017

The August 2017 jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is similar to many job reports preceding it – neither great nor horrible. It indicates moderate payroll growth and unchanged payroll growth.  The latest report states that U.S. employers added 156,000 non-farm jobs in August 2017, below economists’ estimates of the economy adding 170,000 to 180,000. The unemployment rate rose a notch to 4.4% from 4.3% in the month before.

The largest employment gains were found in manufacturing (+36,000 jobs), construction (+28,000 jobs), professional and technical service (+22,000 jobs), and healthcare (+20,000 jobs). The manufacturing sector has now added 155,000 jobs since November 2016, when it hit an employment low. The increase in factory jobs included gains in motor vehicles and parts (+14,000 jobs), fabricated metal products (+5,000 jobs), and computer and electronic products (+4,000 jobs). Within professional and technical services, job gains in August were higher in computer systems design and related services with 8,000 jobs added.

The labor participation rate remained unchanged at 62.9%, while average hourly earnings increased by 3 cents to $26.39. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 65 cents or 2.5%, according to the BLS.

Freelancers Earning More

The latest stats from Linkedin ProFinder reveals that freelance work is quite rewarding. Almost 20% of those in Linkedin’s program – a service connecting white collar freelance professionals with individuals and small businesses – report making the equivalent of a six-figure or higher salary.

Other interesting insights form the data include:

  • 25% of freelancers say that their freelance work is in an entirely different professional field than their former, full-time career
  • 13% took special training and/or education to pursue this new career path.
  • 75% agree that legislation such as the “Freelance Isn’t Free Act” is needed for the freelance workforce
  • 76% say they’ve had issues collecting payments from clients, and 19% says it happens 3-6 times a year.
  • More than half say that they will never return to more traditional full-time employment

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