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US Employment Situation

Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

October 7 2016 - "Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent. Job gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care. Thus far this year, nonfarm job growth has averaged 178,000 per month, compared with an average gain of 229,000 per month in 2015.

"Incorporating revisions for July and August, which reduced nonfarm payroll employment by 7,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 192,000 over the past 3 months.

"Professional and business services employment rose by 67,000 in September and by 582,000 over the year. Within the industry, employment in management and technical consulting services increased by 16,000 over the month, and employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (+35,000).

"Health care added 33,000 jobs in September, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+24,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 445,000.

"Employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking places (+30,000) in September. Over the year, this industry has added 300,000 jobs.

" Employment also continued to trend up over the month in retail trade (+22,000) and was up by 317,000 over the year.

"Mining employment was flat in September; the rate of job loss in the industry had been moderating in recent months.

"Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.

"Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents in September to $25.79. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6 percent. From August 2015 to August 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.1 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

"Turning to data from the survey of households, most major labor market measures continued to show little or no change in September. The unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed people, at 7.9 million, were essentially unchanged over the month and have shown little net movement since August 2015.

"Among the unemployed in September, 2.0 million, or 24.9 percent, had been searching for work for 27 weeks or more.

"The labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.8 percent, changed little over the month. Both measures have shown little movement in recent months, but were up by 0.5 percentage point over the year.

"Among the employed, 5.9 million worked part time for economic reasons in September, little different from August. (These involuntary part-time workers would prefer to work full time, but had their hours cut back or were unable to find full- time jobs.)

"Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in September, 1.8 million were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 553,000 in September, also about the same as a year earlier. (Marginally attached to the labor force refers to those who 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.)

"In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent."

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

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