134,000 New Jobs Added to Economy in September
Unemployment Hits Record Low of 3.7%
JOB GROWTH: Following upward revisions in the job numbers for both July and August, totaling a combined 87,000, September’s addition of 134,000 jobs was not as strong as the previous two months, although it far surpassed the same time period last year when only 14,000 jobs were added. Based on the revised numbers, average growth over the past three months remained at 190,000 per month.
TOP INDUSTRIES: The top sectors for growth in September included professional and business services, healthcare and transportation and warehousing.
UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent, its lowest rate in nearly 50 years.
WAGES: Payrolls lost a bit of steam in September, after seeming poised for stronger momentum after a good showing in August. Average hourly earnings slipped from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent on an annual basis.
WORK WEEK: There was no change in the average work week from August to September, remaining at 34.5 hours.
TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary jobs sector experienced its third consecutive month of growth, adding 10,600 jobs.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? September offered somewhat lukewarm news in an otherwise strong year for the economy. Job growth, missing analyst expectations, slowed from the recent pace, but not significantly. Unemployment hit a near 50-year low, signaling continuing tightening of the talent supply chain. Wages, which had started to grow last month, stepped back again. Some suggest the slow pace of wage expansion may be due to a rise in non-monetary benefits, such as enhanced paid time off, greater flexibility in when and where work is performed, and higher investments in training and development. Whether employers are paying out more
cash to employees or paying more for employee benefits, the question remains whether these incentives are enough to attract and retain good talent.
This newsletter references the BLS Report of September activity, released 10/5/18.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Seeking Alpha, Forbes, Fortune, MarketWatch