The growth in jobs continued the streak for the US economy, which has not seen a negative month on job creation since September of 2010 - nearly seven straight years. Average weekly hours were actually down, sufficiently so as to drive average weekly earnings down from last month's report.
"The labor market is, if anything, a tad weaker than than we thought a month ago", economy professor and New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers wrote on Twitter.
"With the survey evidence still strong and third-quarter economic growth on course for another decent gain after the second, there is no reason to believe that the modest drop-off in employment growth is the start of a more serious downturn", said Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics.
The measure now stands at its highest level since April 2011, pointing to solid economic growth. Eventually, though, natural disasters that involve flooding usually lead to more construction and health care jobs.
Average hourly earnings changed little in the last month, ticking up 3 cents, following an increase of 9 cents in July. Professional and business services saw the biggest gains in August, with payrolls in this sector rising by 40,000.
The Federal Reserve has been watching the numbers closely as well.
"The Fed has to be second-guessing December", said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.
Harvey's impact could show up in the September jobs report if many businesses in the region are still closed two weeks from now, when they collect this month's data. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. Mining was among the economic sectors that gained jobs in August, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Retail stores and auto dealers added just 800 jobs after having lost 1,900 in July.