Harvey, Irma slow job growth in September
Friday, October 06, 2017
The jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent in September, but total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 33,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The biggest factor for the report was the impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas as employment dropped sharply in bars and food services — 105,000 jobs lost.
This marks the first month since 2010 that the economy has lost more jobs than it created. Prior to September's report, employment had added an average of 172,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.
The September unemployment rate of 4.2 percent compared with 4.4 percent in August and 4.3 percent in July, the BLS reported. The jobless rate was 4.9 percent in September 2016. The number of jobless workers dropped by 331,000 to 6.8 million in September.
In the healthcare sector, September job creation totaled 23,000 jobs, matching its average monthly gain during the past 12 months. Employment rose by 25,000 in ambulatory healthcare services and fell 9,000 in nursing care facilities. The healthcare industry accounts for about one-sixth of the national economy, estimated to be $18.46 trillion in 2016.
For all nonfarm employees, the average workweek remained unchanged at 34.4 hours in September. For manufacturing payrolls, the workweek was static at 40.7 hours, with overtime remaining at 3.3 hours. On average, private production and nonsupervisory employees' average workweek was unchanged at 33.6 hours.
"In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents to $26.55," the BLS reported. "Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents, or 2.9 percent."
The labor force participation rate, or percentage of the labor force with paid work, was 63.1 percent in September versus 62.9 percent in August and July.
The September BLS report draws on two data sources. One is the household survey and the other is the establishment survey. The former "includes self-employed workers whose businesses are unincorporated, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers," that the establishment survey excludes, according to the BLS.
The two employment surveys do not include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which were devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Large firms with 500 or more employees led the way in private nonfarm job creation with 79,000 new hires in September, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Companies with 50-499 employees added 63,000 new jobs. Firms with 1-49 workers lost 7,000 jobs.
The service-providing sector added 88,000 new hires in September. Professional and business services created 51,000 jobs, with 29,000 new hires in education.
There were 48,000 workers hired in the goods-producing sector for the month. Construction topped the list, adding 29,000 jobs, as manufacturing employment grew by 18,000. Mining and natural resources employment, a focus of President Donald Trump's emphasis on "America First" blue-collar payroll growth, added 1,000 jobs in September.
ADP jobs data follows the BLS establishment and household jobs surveys. ADP adjusts its economic data to calibrate seasonal factors for more accurate measurements of monthly changes in nonfarm private-sector payroll employment.
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