In addition, the Labor Department said its index of the aggregate number of hours worked each week climbed 0.2 percent in August. Taken together, the increases in wages and in hours worked could mean that consumers will have more money to spend than previously thought.
As in previous months, unemployment in August had less to do with mass layoffs than with a reluctance to hire.
Q : What is the function of "as" in the sentence?
I have no idea about this.
All the best,