Unemployment Breaks 50-Year Record

136,000 New Jobs Created in September
 Unemployment Breaks 50-Year Record 

JOB GROWTH: Look quickly and you might think there was no change from one month to another, with August growth initially reported at 130,000 and September growth at 136,000. However, the August figure has been revised upward to 160,000, showing the current month at a slight disadvantage.

TOP INDUSTRIES: Growth in September held no big surprises, with the strongest gains in healthcare and professional and business services.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate finally broke through the barrier to reach the same low level it had recorded 50 years ago- 3.5%. 

WAGES: After a good bump in the previous month, wage growth remained fairly steady in September, with average hourly earnings for the year at 2.9%. 

WORK WEEK: The work week was unchanged in September, with average hours steady at 34.4. 

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary help sector added 10,200 new jobs in September. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? With hiring less robust this year than last, economists fear a coming recession, due in part to global economic conditions and uncertainly about trade talks with China. Job growth activity is still solid, downplaying other less than positive news circulating in the past week about weakness in manufacturing and the services sector. The big news this month is undoubtedly the drop in the unemployment rate to a level not seen in the past 50 years. Good news for workers but less so for employers, who continue to struggle to fill open positions in a labor market that is draining talent off the sidelines for the first time in recent years. 

This newsletter references the BLS Report of September activity, released 10/4/19.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, MSNBC, Business Insider, USA Today, FOX News, Staffing Industry Analysts

 

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