Change in Nonfarm Payrolls 156K vs 172K Expected; UE Rate 5% vs 4.9% Expected

October 7, 2016 8:30 AM EDT

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  • Change in Nonfarm Payrolls 156K vs 172K Expected; UE Rate 5% vs 4.9% Expected

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.9 million, changed little in September. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August of last year. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to 6.4 percent in September, while the rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.4 percent), teenagers (15.8 percent), Whites (4.4 percent), Blacks (8.3 percent), and Asians (3.9 percent) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks increased by 284,000 to 2.6 million in September. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.0 million and accounted for 24.9 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

In September, both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.8 percent, changed little. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 5.9 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. (See table A-8.)

In September, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about 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. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 553,000 discouraged workers in September, little changed 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 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in September. Thus far this year, job growth has averaged 178,000 per month, compared with an average of 229,000 per month in 2015. In September, employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services employment rose by 67,000 in September and has risen by 582,000 over the year. Over the month, job gains occurred in management and technical consulting services (+16,000), and employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (+35,000).

Health care added 33,000 jobs in September. Ambulatory health care services added 24,000 jobs over the month, and employment rose by 7,000 in hospitals. Over the past 12 months, health care has added 445,000 jobs.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in September (+30,000) and has increased by 300,000 over the year.

Retail trade employment continued to trend up over the month (+22,000). Within the industry, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+14,000) and in gasoline stations (+8,000). Over the year, employment in retail trade has risen by 317,000.

Mining employment was unchanged in September after declining by 220,000 from a peak in September 2014.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in September. In manufacturing, the workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.5 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $25.79. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $21.68 in September. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised down from +275,000 to +252,000, and the change for August was revised up from +151,000 to +167,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 7,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 192,000 per month.

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