Employment in the waste management and remediation services category rose to approximately 479,600 people in August, up from 477,300 in July, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
BLS reported the overall U.S. unemployment rate increased to 3.7%, up from a recent low of 3.5% the previous month. The number of waste management and remediation services jobs as defined by BLS reportedly increased 4.88% year over year and inched up 0.48% month over month. The category includes waste collection, MRF and landfill workers, but it isn’t an exact picture of the solid waste and recycling industry, as it also includes remediation services occupations.
The 315,000 total non-farm jobs the U.S. added during August were shy of the Dow Jones estimate of 318,000. That marked a significant month-to-month slowdown in jobs added compared with a better-than-expected July. The pace for jobs added in waste did not slow as significantly. BLS highlighted the professional and business services, healthcare, and retail trade sectors as seeing notable job gains.
The number of individuals not in the labor force who currently want a job fell to 5.5 million in August, down from about 5.9 million in July.
BLS reported that average hourly earnings rose 5.2% over the previous 12 months, increasing by 10 cents in August, slightly below expectations. The agency is set to release the Consumer Price Index for August, a measure of recent inflation, on Sept. 13.
September employment figures are slated to be released Oct. 7.