Nonfarm US jobs increased by 142,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment rose in health care and information, while mining lost jobs. Thus far in 2015, nonfarm job growth has averaged 198,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014. The broad rate of unemployment was at 10%.

 

Private-sector employment rose by 118,000 in September, below the pace observed earlier in the year.

Incorporating revisions for July and August, which decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 59,000, monthly job gains have averaged 167,000 over the past 3 months.

Health care employment rose by 34,000 in September, in line with its average monthly gain of 38,000 over the prior 12 months. Hospitals added 16,000 jobs over the month, and employment in ambulatory health care continued to trend up (+13,000).

Employment in information grew by 12,000 in September. Over the year, the industry has added 44,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up over the month (+31,000). Job growth has averaged 45,000 per month thus far in 2015, compared with an average monthly gain of 59,000 in 2014. In September, employment rose in computer systems design (+7,000) and legal services (+5,000).

Retail trade employment trended up in September (+24,000), in line with the average gain of 27,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains occurred in general merchandise stores (+10,000) and auto dealers (+5,000).

Employment in food services and drinking places also continued to trend up in September (+21,000). Over the year, employment in this industry has expanded by 349,000.

Mining employment fell by 10,000 in September, and has declined by 102,000 since reaching a peak in December 2014. In September, support activities for mining lost 7,000 jobs.

Construction employment was little changed in September and has shown little movement over the past several months. Manufacturing employment also changed little in September and has shown little net change thus far this year.

In September, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $25.09, were little changed (-1 cent), following a rise of 9 cents in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2%. From August 2014 to August 2015, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2 percentage point (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Turning to measures from the household survey, the unemployment rate held at 5.1% in September, and the number of unemployed was little changed at 7.9m. Among the unemployed, 2.1m, or 26.6%, had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, little changed from the prior month.

The labour force participation rate decreased to 62.4% in September — the lowest since 1978 as the labour force shrunk by 350,000 people last month — it had been 62.6% for the prior 3 months. The employment-population ratio edged down to 59.2% over the month after showing little change for the first 8 months of the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons fell by 447,000 to 6.0m in September. These individuals, also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

The number of persons working part time for economic reasons has declined by 1.0m over the past year. Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in September, 1.9m were classified as marginally attached to the labour force, down from 2.2m a year earlier. These individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 635,000 in September, little changed from a year earlier.

US broad unemployment 2015

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers commented:

"The economy added jobs in September at a pace below that seen earlier in the year, as slowing growth abroad and global financial turmoil have weighed on economic activity. Overall, however, the unemployment rate remains at its lowest level since early 2008 and the private sector has added 13.2m jobs over 67 straight months of job growth — the longest streak on record. Given the increased uncertainty around the world, it is imperative that the United States not further exacerbate that uncertainty with unnecessary brinksmanship and austerity. Instead, we must take steps to continue the domestic momentum that the US economy has enjoyed in the last several years. That includes passing a budget that reverses the sequester and makes critical investments that help our economy continue to grow, reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank so that our businesses can compete on a level-playing field abroad."