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construction, even though over 100,000 striking workers returned to their jobs between July and August, employment rose by only 20,000. Since December, construction jobs have shown a net decline of nearly 190,000, a reflection of the marked weakness in home-building.
The service-producing industries posted gains of 170,000 in August, with almost all of the increase limited to the service industry and State and local government. State and local government employment rose by 90,000, following several months of slower than usual growth.
Hours of work
The average workweek for all production or nonsupervisory workers on private nonagricultural payrolls, at 36.7 hours (seasonally adjusted) in August, has shown little movement since the first of the year. Total manufacturing and factory overtime, at 40.3 and 3.3 hours, respectively, were about unchanged in August. Compared with August 1973, average hours for all production or nonsupervisory workers were down 0.3 hour; total factory hours and overtime declined by 0.2 and 0.4 hour, respectively.
Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory personnel on private nonagricultural payrolls rose 0.7 percent (seasonally adjusted) in August. Since August 1973, hourly earnings have advanced by 8.4 percent. Average weekly earnings increased by 0.4 percent over the month and were up 7.5 percent over the past year.
Before adjustment for seasonality, average hourly earnings rose by 3 cents in August to $4.24. Since August a year ago, hourly earnings have advanced by 33 cents. Weekly earnings averaged $157.73 in August, an increase of $1.12 from July and $11.10 from August 1973.
The hourly earnings index
The Hourly Earnings Index-earnings adjusted for overtime in manufacturing, seasonality, and the effects of changes in the proportion of workers in high-wage and low-wage industries-was 160.8 (1967=100) in August, 0.9 percent higher than in July. The Index was 8.9 percent above August a year ago. During the 12month period ended in July, the Hourly Earnings Index in dollars of constant purchasing power declined 3.0 percent.