Payroll Employment Rose by 336,000 in September; Unemployment Rate was Unchanged at 3.8 Percent
The unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in September, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.4 million.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.1 million, changed little in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.5 million, little different from the prior month. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.
Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force changed little at 1.5 million in September. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, also changed little over the month at 367,000.
- Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 336,000 in September, above the average monthly gain of 267,000 over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; government; health care; professional, scientific, and technical services; and social assistance.
- In August, health care added 41,000 jobs in September, compared with the average monthly gain of 53,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment continued to trend up in ambulatory health care services (+24,000), hospitals (+8,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000).
- Social assistance added 25,000 jobs in September, about the same as the average monthly gain of 23,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job growth occurred in individual and family services (+19,000).
- Transportation and warehousing changed little (+9,000). Truck transportation added 9,000 jobs, following a decline of 25,000 in August that largely reflected a business closure. Air transportation added 5,000 jobs in September. Employment in transportation and warehousing has shown little net change over the year.
- Information changed little in September (-5,000). Within the industry, employment in motion picture and sound recording industries continued to trend down (-7,000) and has declined by 45,000 since May, reflecting the impact of labor disputes.
- Government employment increased by 73,000, above the average monthly gain of 47,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in state government education (+29,000) and in local government, excluding education (+27,000). Employment in government is slightly below (-9,000) its February 2020 level.
- In July, employment in leisure and hospitality added 96,000 jobs in September, above the average monthly gain of 61,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment in food services and drinking places rose by 61,000 over the month and has returned to its pre-pandemic February 2020 level. Accommodation employment continued to trend up over the month (+16,000) but remains below its February 2020 level by 217,000, or 10.3 percent.
- Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services increased by 29,000 in September, in line with the average monthly gain of 27,000 over the prior 12 months.
- Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; construction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; retail trade; financial activities; and other services.
Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics, THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — September 2023