The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released the monthly employment situation report for September, so let’s dive right into it.
The U.S. added 114,000 nonfarm payrolls in September, lower than the heavily revised reading of 142,000 from last month, and still a very slow pace of recovery, perhaps not even enough to keep up with population growth.
The unemployment rate (U-3) took a steep turn for the better, falling to 7.8% from 8.1% in August. This is the lowest the unemployment rate has been since January of 2009.
The real unemployment rate (U-6) however, was unchanged at a still very high 14.7%.
The labor force participation rate rose to 63.6% in September, up from 63.5% in August.
The employment-population ratio rose as well, jumping to 58.7% in September from 58.3% the month prior. The employment-population ratio has not been this high since May of 2010.
For production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked were unchanged at 33.7. Average hourly earnings in September were $19.81, $0.06 above the $19.75 last month.
Nearly all age groups improved their unemployment rates considerably in September.
- 16 to 17: 25.3%, a whopping 4.0% better than the 29.3% in August.
- 18 to 19: 22.8%, 0.1% higher than the 22.7% rate in August.
- 20 to 24: 12.4%, 1.5% lower than the 13.9% in August.
- 25 to 34: 8.1%, 0.2% lower than the 8.3% rate in August.
- 35 to 44: 6.3%, 0.3% lower than the 6.6% rate in August.
- 45 to 54: 6.1%, 0.3% lower than the 6.4% rate in August.
- 55+ : 5.9%, unchanged from August.
- Unemployment for men was 8.0%, 0.3% lower than the 8.3% rate in August.
- Unemployment for women was 7.5%, 0.3% lower than the 7.8% rate in August.
All four tracked racial demographics saw better unemployment figures in September.
- White: 7.0%, 0.2% lower than the August rate of 7.2%.
- Black: 13.4%, 0.7% lower than the August rate of 14.1%.
- Asian: 4.8%, 1.1% lower than the August rate of 5.9%.
- Hispanic: 9.9%, 0.3% lower than the August rate of 10.2%.
Finally, let’s compare unemployment rates across education demographics.
- Less Than a High School Diploma: 11.3%, 0.7% lower than the August rate of 12.0%.
- High School Graduates: 8.7%, 0.1% lower than the August rate of 8.8%.
- Some College or Associate Degree: 6.5%, 0.1% lower than the August rate of 6.6%.
- Bachelor’s Degree and Higher: 4.1%, unchanged from the already very low August rate.
This was an interesting report, as nearly every group benefited while only 114,000 jobs were added overall.