Group of smiling professionals with BLS jobs report and graph superimposed over image

The September Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly look at the US employment situation and the data for September looks moderately favorable. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

Before we get to the September jobs report, let’s revisit August's US job numbers. Last month, the BLS reported that nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 130,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7% (approximately 6 million professionals). A deeper look at the US jobs data and industries hiring in 2019 showed moderate growth in a few areas while others declined or registered no change at all.

  • Professional and business services – 37,000 jobs added
  • Federal government – 28,000 jobs added
  • Healthcare – 24,000 jobs added
  • Financial activities – 15,000 jobs added
  • Social assistance – 13,000 jobs added
  • Mining – 6,000 jobs lost
  • Construction, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality – no change

The September jobs report showed total nonfarm payroll employment increasing by 136,000, unemployment falling to 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 275,000 to 5.8 million. Here are some other highlights of the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed rose very slightly to 1.3 million and accounts for 22.7 percent of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.2 percent.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) stayed the same at 4.4 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls dropped by 2 cents to $28.09 after increasing by 11 cents in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent.

September saw promising growth for a few industries hiring in 2019. Healthcare led the way with 39,000 jobs added in September. Professional and business services added 34,000 jobs, employment in government increased by 22,000 jobs, and transportation and warehousing added 16,000 jobs in September. Retail trade employment declined by 11,000 in September. Key industries like construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality saw no change.

Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests the economy is in good shape. Whether you’re looking for top talent or searching for your dream job, there’s still plenty of opportunity out there, and you can find it on iHire.


For more information on how the BLS tracks and updates US job numbers and calculates the unemployment rate, check out this informative post on FiveThirtyEight.

by: Freddie Rohner
October 04, 2019