The service sector led the way for job growth in August, as that area of the economy grew for its 20th straight month by adding 80,000 jobs. And the construction sector finally shook off three straight months of losses by adding 7,000 jobs. Nonetheless, that sector is still down by 2.1 million jobs from its 2007 peak.
Jobs in the goods-creating sector of the economy also turned things around in August, growing by 11,000 after dropping by 2,000 in July. But the manufacturing sector shrank by 4,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, a new report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that businesses planned to lay off 51,114 workers in August — a 23 percent drop from the 66,414 planned in July, which was the highest level seen in a year and a half.
The August decline marked a turnaround from three straight months of increases in the amount of layoffs planned by businesses. But it still is 47 percent higher than it was a year ago.