Jobs up 142k in September; unemployment unchanged

October 2, 2015 08:06 AM

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and information, while mining employment fell.


Household Survey Data

In September, the unemployment rate held at 5.1%, and the number of unemployed persons (7.9 million) changed little. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.3 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7%), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (16.3%), whites (4.4%), blacks (9.2%), Asians (3.6%), and Hispanics (6.4%) showed little or no change in September.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 268,000 to 2.4 million in September, partially offsetting a decline in August. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.1 million in September and accounted for 26.6% of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined to 62.4% in September; the rate had been 62.6% for the prior 3 months. The employment-population ratio edged down to 59.2% in September, after showing little movement for the first 8 months of the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 447,000 to 6.0 million in September. 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. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons declined by 1.0 million.

In September, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 305,000 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.

Among the marginally attached, there were 635,000 discouraged workers in September, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.


Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September. Thus far in 2015, job growth has averaged 198,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014. In September, job gains occurred in health care and information, while employment in mining continued to decline. 

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