WASHINGTON – Hiring picked up in August as U.S. employers added a strong 201,000 jobs, a sign of confidence that consumers and businesses will keep spending despite the Trump administration's conflicts with U.S. trading partners.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained 3.9 percent, near an 18-year low.
Americans' paychecks grew at a faster pace. Average hourly wages rose in August and are now 2.9 percent higher than they were a year earlier, the fastest annual gain in eight years. Still, after adjusting for inflation, pay has been flat for the past year.
The economy is expanding steadily, fueled by tax cuts, confident consumers, greater business investment in equipment and more government spending. Growth reached 4.2 percent at an annual rate in the April-June quarter, the fastest pace in four years.