Employment increases in several sectors, including health care
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 248,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9 percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0 percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 306,000 in September to 4.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.0 million in September. These individuals accounted for 31.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.2 million.
The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in September. The employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 7.1 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In September, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 698,000 discouraged workers in September, down by 154,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 248,000 in September, compared with an average monthly gain of 213,000 over the prior 12 months. In September, job growth occurred in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.
Professional and business services added 81,000 jobs in September, compared with an average gain of 56,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains occurred in employment services (+34,000), management and technical consulting services (+12,000), and architectural and engineering services (+6,000). Employment in legal services declined by 5,000 over the month.
Employment in retail trade rose by 35,000 in September. Food and beverage stores added 20,000 jobs, largely reflecting the return of workers who had been off payrolls in August due to employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England. Employment in retail trade has increased by 264,000 over the past 12 months.
Health care added 23,000 jobs in September, in line with the prior 12-month average gain of 20,000 jobs per month. In September, employment rose in home health care services (+7,000) and hospitals (+6,000).
Employment in information increased by 12,000 in September, with a gain of 5,000 in telecommunications. Over the year, employment in information has shown little net change. Mining employment rose by 9,000 in September, with the majority of the increase occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000). Over the year, mining has added 50,000 jobs.
Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in September (+20,000) and is up by 290,000 over the year.
In September, construction employment continued on an upward trend (+16,000). Within the industry, employment in residential building increased by 6,000. Over the year, construction has added 230,000 jobs. Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in September (+12,000) and has added 89,000 jobs over the year. In September, job growth occurred in insurance carriers and related activities (+6,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+5,000).
Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change over the month.
In September, the average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls, at $24.53, changed little in September (-1 cent). Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and non-supervisory employees were unchanged at $20.67.
The change in total non-farm payroll employment for July was revised from +212,000 to +243,000, and the change for August was revised from +142,000 to +180,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 69,000 more than previously reported.