Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 248,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.
Household Survey Data
In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9 percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0 percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 306,000 in September to 4.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.0 million in September. These individuals accounted for 31.9 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.2 million. The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in September. The employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the fourth consecutive month.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 7.1 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In September, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.