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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

                            Statement of

                          William W. Beach
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                      Friday, October 4, 2019

	The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 
3.5 percent in September, and nonfarm payroll employment 
increased by 136,000. Employment continued to trend up in health 
care and in professional and business services.

	Thus far in 2019, monthly job growth has averaged 161,000, 
compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. 
(Incorporating revisions for July and August, which increased 
employment by 45,000, monthly job gains have averaged 157,000 
over the past 3 months.)

	Health care employment rose by 39,000 in September, with 
gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (+29,000) and 
hospitals (+8,000). Over the year, employment in health care has 
risen by 423,000.

	In September, employment continued to trend up in 
professional and business services (+34,000). The industry has 
added an average of 35,000 jobs per month so far this year, down 
from 47,000 per month in 2018.

	Government employment also continued to trend up in 
September (+22,000). Federal hiring for the 2020 Census was 
negligible (+1,000). Over the year, employment in government has 
increased by 147,000, largely in local government.

	Employment in transportation and warehousing edged up by 
16,000 in September, with gains in transit and ground passenger 
transportation (+11,000) and in couriers and messengers 

	In September, employment changed little in retail trade 
(-11,000). Job losses in clothing and clothing accessories 
stores (-14,000) were partially offset by job gains in food and 
beverage stores (+9,000). Since reaching a peak in January 2017, 
retail trade has lost 197,000 jobs.

	Employment showed little change over the month in other 
major industries--including mining, construction, manufacturing, 
wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure 
and hospitality.

	Average hourly earnings of all employees on private 
nonfarm payrolls, at $28.09, were little changed in September  
(-1 cent), following an 11-cent gain in August. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.9 percent. From 
August 2018 to August 2019, the Consumer Price Index for All 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.8 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis).

	Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.5 
percent in September. The last time the rate was this low was in 
December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent. The number of unemployed 
people fell by 275,000 over the month to 5.8 million.

	Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for 
work for 27 weeks or more was little changed at 1.3 million in 
September. These long-term unemployed accounted for 22.7 percent 
of the unemployed.

	The labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, was 
unchanged in September. The employment-population ratio, at 
61.0 percent, changed little. Over the year, the employment-
population ratio was up by 0.6 percentage point.

	In September, 4.4 million people were working part time 
for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers), little changed from the previous month.

	Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
September, 1.3 million were considered marginally attached to 
the labor force, down by 278,000 from a year earlier. (People 
who are marginally attached to the labor force had not looked 
for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, 
were available for work, and had looked for a job within the 
last 12 months.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally 
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 
321,000 in September, little changed from a year earlier.

	In summary, the unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent 
in September, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 136,000.

Last Modified Date: October 04, 2019