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The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4% — missing economists' expectations. Taken in context, companies still can't find enough workers to fill their open slots, but this hasn't translated into faster wage growth, as average hourly earnings were up just 2.5% year-over-year — little more than the rate of inflation. Economists had expected 180,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.3%.

Turmoil in the "information" sector: Here we look at the information sector, which shed 8,000 jobs in August. Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, emails Axios to say that the sector "includes tech, so people typically assume that it's booming. But several job-losing industries are in the information sector as well, like broadcasting, motion pictures production, and telecommunications."

Expand chart

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Graphic: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why it matters: The labor market is stronger today than in at least a decade. But without accelerating wage growth, many Americans will continue to see themselves as stuck in neutral, financially speaking. This trend is illustrated by measures of consumer confidence, in which Americans say they are far less pleased with the economy than during previous periods of low joblessness, and right-track/wrong-track polling shows that more than half of Americans are down on the state of the nation.

Why wage growth isn't accelerating: The law of supply and demand says that as the unemployment rate falls, employers should be forced to raise wages to compete for workers. But Kolko cites three reasons why we're not seeing this happen just yet:

  1. Productivity growth remains stuck: Workers justify wage hikes by becoming more productive, i.e. getting more stuff done per hour, but productivity has been growing at a snail's pace of late.
  2. Boomers retiring: We're amidst a great turnover in the job market, wherein high-earning baby boomers are retiring, but being replaced by cheaper millennials.
  3. The unemployment rate overstates the case: Other measures of the labor market, like the ratio of workers to overall working-age population, remain depressed. This suggests that there are still many workers, who are considered "out of the labor market" rather than "unemployed" because of the idiosyncrasies of the Labor Department's official unemployment measure.

Go deeper

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators shout "Don't shoot" at the police after curfew on April 12 as they protest the death of Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a day earlier. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

There were tense scenes in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center Monday night, after demonstrators defied a 7 p.m. curfew to protest for a second night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: The curfew was announced following a night of protests and unrest over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop Sunday. Following peaceful protests and a daytime vigil, police again deployed tear gas during clashes with protesters Monday night, according to reporters on the scene.

In photos: Life along the U.S.-Mexico border

Children at the border of the Puerto de Anapra colonia of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, hang on a border fence and look to Sunland Park, N.M. Photo: Russell Contreras/Axios

Axios traveled to McAllen and El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to see how the communities are responding to an increase of migrants from Central America.

Of note: The region in South and West Texas are among the poorest in the nation and rarely are the regions covered in depth beyond the soundbites and press conference. Axios reporters Stef Kight and Russell Contreras walked the streets of McAllen, El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez to record images that struck them.

Updated 2 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of Taser

The officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a Taser, police said.

What's new: Officials on Monday night identified the officer involved in the shooting as Kim Potter, who has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years.