But the solid 201,000 job gain for August was almost equal to the average gain of 196,000 over the prior 12 months, evidence of how steady job growth remains.
Even with revisions reducing the number of jobs created in both June and July, the economy is producing new jobs at a higher pace than the same eight month period a year ago, averaging nearly 207,000 jobs a month in 2018 compared to 189,000 a month in 2017.
Other economists, though, have expected payroll growth to slow as employers increasingly struggle to find available workers now that the jobless rate has dipped below 4%.
The report also showed that employers added more nonfarm payrolls than had been forecast, while the unemployment rate remained at an 18-year low of 3.9%.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 201,000 jobs in August after climbing by a downwardly revised 147,000 jobs in July.
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"The biggest contributor to job gains was professional and business services, which added 53,000".
"This should prove transitory as autos manufacturing payrolls tend to be noisy over the summer months as companies shut down production to retool for the next year's models, making seasonal adjustment factors less precise", said Joseph Song, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in NY.
However, the manufacturing sector shed 3,000 jobs - the first fall since July 2017.
Here are the highlights of the three most closely-watched components of the report: payrolls, wages and unemployment. Mining added 6,000 new jobs.
Construction companies hired 23,000 more workers last month after increasing payrolls by 18,000 jobs in July.
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Wage growth boomed in August, the latest U.S. jobs report showed.
Friday's August jobs report from the government also showed that paychecks are growing faster.
In August, factories expanded at their quickest pace in 14 years, according to a survey of purchasing managers. The average hourly wage in construction was up 3.3 percent over the a year ago, but the gain was 3.5 percent back in September of 2016.
That lowered the participation rate, or share of working-age people in the labor force, to 62.7 percent from 62.9 percent the prior month. Wholesalers added 22,400 jobs. "We think we are at that stage where the labor market has gotten so tight that you're going to see upward pressure on wages".
Still, 6.2 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work in August.
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Even more important, annual wage growth accelerated from 2.7% to 2.9%, the fastest pace since 2009.