September Jobless Rate Steady at 9.1%
The economy added more jobs than expected in September, the government reported on Friday. While not quite enough to reduce the unemployment rate, it may be enough to thwart another recession.
Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said, "Our nation's labor market posted growth in the month of September.”
Non-farm payroll employment added 137,000 private sector jobs. Health care added 44,000 jobs in September, for a total of 336,000 over the past year. Employment in professional and business services increased by 48,000 in September.
Employment also rose in the telecommunications industry, but the 45,000 increase was due to Verizon employees returning from strike. Government employment continued its downward trend, losing 35,000 in September. Overall, total non-farm payroll jobs grew by 103,000.
“Additionally, the reported July and August jobs numbers were revised significantly upward, meaning that we added 99,000 more jobs during those two months than previously was reported,” Solis said.
Despite the reported increases in job growth, the unemployment rate has held steady at around 9 percent since the beginning of the year. September’s official jobless rate was 9.1 percent and of the 14.0 million who were unemployed in September, 44.6 percent had been jobless for 27
weeks or more.
Commenting on the Labor Department’s report, Conference Board economist Kathy Bostjancic said that the modest economic growth may help us “barely escape” another recession.
Bostjancic said in a statement, “The main problem is that demand is simply too weak to support more robust job growth (more than 125,000 jobs per month). Employers are not going to step up hiring unless demand picks up. But consumers are not going to spend more until employment strengthens. There is no help on the way from monetary or fiscal policy, at the federal, state, or local level.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Conference Board