Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1347
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, October 6, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:         (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:	 (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:           (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2017

The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment 
changed little (-33,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A sharp employment 
decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries 
likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. 

   |                                                                                              |
   |                              Hurricanes Irma and Harvey                                      |
   |                                                                                              |
   | Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on September 10--during the reference period for both|
   | the establishment and household surveys--causing severe damage in Florida and other parts of |
   | the Southeast. Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25--prior to the September  |
   | reference periods--resulting in severe damage in Texas and other areas of the Gulf Coast.    |
   |                                                                                              |
   | Our analysis suggests that the net effect of these hurricanes was to reduce the estimate     |
   | of total nonfarm payroll employment for September. There was no discernible effect on the    |
   | national unemployment rate. No changes were made to either the establishment or household    |
   | survey estimation procedures for the September figures. For both surveys, collection rates   |
   | generally were within normal ranges, both nationally and in the affected states. In the      |
   | establishment survey, employees who are not paid for the pay period that includes the        |
   | 12th of the month are not counted as employed. In the household survey, persons with a job   |
   | are counted as employed even if they miss work for the entire survey reference week (the     |
   | week including the 12th of the month), regardless of whether or not they are paid. For both  |
   | surveys, national estimates do not include Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.           |
   |                                                                                              |
   | Further discussion of the impact of the recent hurricanes on the September estimates         |
   | can be found in the Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation, at                 |
   | www.bls.gov/news.release/jec.nr0.htm. For additional information on how severe weather       |
   | affects employment data, see Question 8 in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this    |
   | news release.                                                                                |
   |                                                                                              |
   | BLS will release the state estimates of employment and unemployment on October 20, 2017, at  |
   | 10:00 a.m. (EDT).                                                                            |

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 4.2 percent in September, and the number 
of unemployed persons declined by 331,000 to 6.8 million. Both measures were down over the year. 
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.9 percent) and Blacks 
(7.0 percent) declined in September. The jobless rates for adult women (3.9 percent), teenagers 
(12.9 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), Asians (3.7 percent), and Hispanics (5.1 percent) showed 
little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged 
in September at 1.7 million and accounted for 25.5 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The employment-population ratio increased by 0.3 percentage point to 60.4 percent in September and 
has increased by 0.6 percentage point over the past 12 months. The labor force participation rate, 
at 63.1 percent, changed little over the month and has shown little movement over the year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary 
part-time workers) was little changed at 5.1 million in September. These individuals, who would have 
preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or 
because they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In September, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 275,000 from 
a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor 
force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. 
They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding 
the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 421,000 discouraged workers in September, down by 132,000 
from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they 
believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the 
labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family 
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in September (-33,000), after adding an average 
of 172,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months. In September, a steep employment decline in food 
services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the 
impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Employment rose in health care and in transportation and 
warehousing. (See table B-1.)

Employment in food services and drinking places dropped sharply in September (-105,000), as many 
workers were off payrolls due to the recent hurricanes. Over the prior 12 months, food services 
and drinking places had added an average of 24,000 jobs per month. 

In September, health care added 23,000 jobs, in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 
12 months (+27,000). The employment increase in ambulatory health care services (+25,000) was partially 
offset by a decline in nursing care facilities (-9,000). 

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 22,000 in September. Job gains occurred in 
warehousing and storage (+5,000), couriers and messengers (+4,000), and air transportation (+3,000). 

Employment in financial activities changed little in September (+10,000). A job gain in insurance 
carriers and related activities (+11,000) largely reflected hurricane-recovery efforts. The gain was 
partly offset by losses in activities related to credit intermediation (-4,000) and in commercial 
banking (-3,000). Over the year, financial activities has added 149,000 jobs.

In September, employment in professional and business services was little changed (+13,000). Over 
the prior 12 months, job growth in the industry had averaged 50,000 per month.

Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in September (-1,000). From a recent employment 
trough in November 2016 through August of this year, the industry had added an average of 14,000 
jobs per month.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
information, and government, showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in 
September. In manufacturing, the workweek also was unchanged at 40.7 hours, and overtime held steady 
at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents 
to $26.55. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents, or 2.9 percent. 
In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees 
increased by 9 cents to $22.23. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised down from +189,000 to +138,000, 
and the change for August was revised up from +156,000 to +169,000. With these revisions, employment 
gains in July and August combined were 38,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result 
from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published 
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 
91,000 over the past 3 months.

The Employment Situation for October is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 3, 2017, 
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: October 06, 2017