US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged in September, at 3.7 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.2 percent a year ago in September 2017. September’s number marks the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969.

The civilian labor force participation rate remained unchanged, at 62.7 percent. The participation rate has remained fairly steady since October of 2013.

The employment-population ratio increased slightly by one tenth of a percent, to 60.4 percent. The employment-population ratio has been trending upward since July 2011, when it hit a low of 58.2 percent.

In September, the unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree again fell by one tenth of a percent to 2.0 percent. It was 2.2 percent in September 2017.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 134,000 in September. The payroll employment numbers for both July and August 2018 were adjusted. Total employment gains for those months are now 87,000 more than previously reported. Considering these revisions, payroll employment gains have averaged 190,000 over the last three months.

Some details directly from the BLS report:


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 134,000 in September, compared with an average monthly gain of 201,000 over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000 in September and has risen by 560,000 over the year.

Health care employment rose by 26,000 in September. Hospitals added 12,000 jobs, and employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+10,000). Over the year, health care employment has increased by 302,000.

In September, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 24,000. Job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+8,000) and in couriers and messengers (+5,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 174,000.

Construction employment continued to trend up in September (+23,000). The industry has added 315,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up in September (+18,000), reflecting a gain in durable goods industries. Over the year, manufacturing has added 278,000 jobs, with about four-fifths of the gain in the durable goods component.

Within mining, employment in support activities for mining rose by 6,000 over the month and by 53,000 over the year.

Employment in leisure and hospitality was little changed over the month (-17,000). Prior to September, employment in the industry had been on a modest upward trend. Some of the weakness in this industry in September may reflect the impact of Hurricane Florence.

Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.5 hours in September. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours.

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $27.24. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 73 cents, or 2.8 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.81 in September.