August Unemployment Rate At 7.3 Percent

The unemployment rate crept down slightly in August, dropping to 7.3 percent.

That's down from the 7.4 percent unemployment rate in July. August's unemployment rate is the lowest in five years--but also comes as the number of Americans working or looking for work fell to its lowest level in 35 years. Those unemployed or not job hunting in the four weeks preceding the survey, whether for voluntary or involuntary reasons, are historically not included in the unemployment rate.

Employers also added 169,000 jobs in August, mainly on the strength of job growth in the retail and health care industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment fell in the information industry.

Manufacturing also saw growth in August after declining in July.