Employment increased by 114,000 in September, in line with expectations, but a relatively slow pace nonetheless. Despite the slow job growth, the unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 7.8% in September. This report also saw July and August’s employment gains revised up to 142,000 and 181,000 respectively, a net gain of about 86,000 jobs.
The most notable element of September’s report, the drop in the unemployment rate, was due to large increases in employment numbers in the household employment. The household employment numbers come from a different survey than the headline payroll numbers. September’s household survey has employment increasing by 873,000, although it is best to take this number with a grain of salt, as the household employment data tends to be volatile.
September’s job growth was the slowest since the anemic growth seen in June, when the economy only created 45,000 jobs. Although the upward revisions to August and July’s growth were encouraging, job creation remains weak. The service sector continues to drive job growth, adding 124,000 jobs in September. The goods producing sector continued to drag on job creation in September, shedding 10,000 jobs.
Labor force participation ticked up in September, rising to 63.6% from 63.5% the previous month.
We have updated our Chart of the Week from earlier this week in our full post.
The chart above shows what the unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were held at its 20-year average (1985-2005).
Read the BLS release.