U.S. nonfarm payrolls declined for the eighth straight month, falling more than expected by a total of 84k jobs in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The unemployment rate was pushed up four-tenths to 6.1% (6.055%), well above expectations that it would remain at 5.7%.

July's decline was downwardly revised to a loss of 60k jobs from an initially reported loss of 51k jobs, and June's loss was downwardly revised to a 100k drop from an initially reported -51k.

Nonfarm payrolls were expected to fall by 75k jobs in the month, with expectations ranging from -30k to -130k jobs.

The loss in total private jobs was in triple digits at -101k, while the goods-producing sector lost 57k, construction fell by 8k, and manufacturing lost 61k jobs. The business services sector lost 53k jobs, while the financial sector lost 3k jobs for the second month in a row.

The only positive gain seen in August was in government jobs, which increased by 17k.

Keith Hall, Commissioner of the BLS, said the number of unemployed persons increased by 592k to 9.4 million in August.

"Since peaking in December, payroll employment has declined by 605,000, for an average monthly job loss of 76,000," he added.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% from July for a total gain of 3.6% since August 2007. Average weekly earnings advanced by 0.4% on the month and rose 3.3% year-over-year.

Total employment fell by 342k to 145.477 million. The employment-population ratio fell three-tenths to 62.1%.

The civilian labour force rose by 250k to 154.853 million in August, and the labour force participation rate remained at 66.1%.

By Patrick McGee and edited by Nancy Girgis - CEP News Ltd. 2008