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Nonfarm payroll employment continued to climb in August (+187,000 jobs), though at a lower rate than over the previous 12 months (average: +271,000 jobs), according to the BLS Employment Situation report. At the same time, unemployment ticked up to 3.8%, the highest it has been since early 2021.

Employment rose in healthcare (+71,000), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), social assistance (+26,000), and construction (+22,000), while declining in transportation and warehousing (-34,000) and information (-15,000). Other major industries changed little during the month.

Temporary employment, which continued to trend down (-19,000), has declined by -242,000 jobs since its peak in March 2022.

“The broad message here seems to be that we are nearing full employment, with supply and demand coming more into balance,” Bank of America U.S. economist Stephen Juneau wrote in a client note. “The gains are concentrated in the laggard sectors. The rest of the labor market probably is at full employment.”