Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The increase in employment partially reflected the return to payrolls of about 45,000 telecommunications workers who had been on strike in August. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down.So we basically have two NFP numbers: that with and without the strike. Without the strike, we have a gain of 58,000. Either way, the overall number is unimpressive. It shows there has been some hiring around the edges, but not broad-based, "we need to hire as many people as possible" movement on the part of employers. Most importantly, it doesn't help to dent the entry of new people coming into the workforce nor lower the unemployment rate for those who are long-term unemployed.
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. Since April, the rate has held in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent.This tells is the overall situation isn't getting any worse. That's actually not bad, especially considering the overall economic news we've seen over the last few months.
Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September. Since April, payroll employment has increased by an average of 72,000 per month, compared with an average of 161,000 for the prior 7 months. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down.The slowdown in overall job growth is very troubling, especially considering we're two years into the recovery. In an ideal economic world, we'd be seeing an acceleration of demand leading to an increase in job creation. Instead, we have a more or less stagnant environment.
Employment in temporary help services edged up in September; this industry has added 53,000 jobs over the past 3 months. In September, employment growth continued in computer systems design and in management and technical consulting services.This is a problem, as temp workers typically lead overall employment. So , the slowdown is concerning.
Government employment continued to trend down over the month (-34,000). The U.S. Postal Service continued to lose jobs (-5,000). Local government employment declined by 35,000 and has fallen by 535,000 since September 2008.This is something I've pointed out before. I believe this is bigger problem than its given credit for and I believe is a primary reason for initial unemployment claims hovering around 400,000 for the last year.
Construction employment increased by 26,000 over the month, after showing little movement since February. The over-the-month gain was due to employment increases in the nonresidential construction industries, which includes heavy and civil construction.This is about the only really good news in the report, but it's only one month of data.
Overall, we're about where we've been for the last few months; treading water