Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Point Since January 2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment report last Friday was unexpected news to many, showing a drop in the unemployment rate of 0.3% – or 7.8% from 8.1%, the lowest rate we’ve seen since January 2009.

The Labor Department estimated that 114,000 jobs were added by employers in September. This combined with revisions to July and August numbers, which were significantly higher than previously reported improved September’s job’s report. July’s numbers were adjusted from 141,000 to 181,000, and August was adjusted from 96,000 to 142,000.

Job gains were made in heath care (+43,500 jobs); transportation and warehousing (+17,000); professional and business services (+13,000); leisure and hospitality (+11,000); retail (9,400) and some construction gains with 5,000 jobs added. The Government also reported gains of 10,000 jobs. Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs, however.

Total employment rose by 873,000 in September. About 12.1 million people remain unemployed last month, 40% of which have been unemployed for six months or more.

Among the major worker groups, adult men (7.3 percent), women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) saw unemployment decline over the month. Unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent) remained unchanged. Asians have the lowest unemployment among all work group sectors, with 4.8 percent.

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