The economy slowed a bit last month, with employers adding 151,000 jobs in August, according to the numbers out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged about 232,000 a month, and in 2015, monthly job growth averaged 229,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent in August, its third straight month at that level.
The food service industry led in hiring last month, adding 34,000 positions. Financial services grew by 20,000 jobs, with particular growth in securities, commodity contracts and investment. The health-care industry added 14,000 new jobs.
The biggest loser continues to be mining. Mining jobs fell by 9,000 in August, the 23rd straight monthly decline for that sector, totalling 225,000 jobs lost, or one-quarter of the industry's total employment.