Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

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under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


                              Statement of

                           William J. Wiatrowski
                            Acting Commissioner
                        Bureau of Labor Statistics

                         Friday, October 5, 2018


      The unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent in September, 
and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 134,000. Job gains 
occurred in professional and business services, in health care, 
and in transportation and warehousing.
      Incorporating revisions for July and August, which 
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 87,000, monthly job 
gains have averaged 190,000 over the past 3 months.
      Hurricane Florence made landfall on the East Coast on 
September 14--during the reference period for both the 
establishment and household surveys--causing large-scale 
evacuations and severe damage to many homes and businesses. 
Response rates for the two surveys were within normal ranges. It 
is possible that payroll employment in some industries was 
affected by the hurricane; however, it is not possible to 
quantify the net effect on employment. 
      In September, employment in professional and business 
services increased by 54,000. Over the year, employment in the 
industry rose by 560,000.
      Health care added 26,000 jobs in September, with a gain of 
12,000 jobs in hospitals. Over the year, employment in health 
care has increased by 302,000.
      In September, transportation and warehousing added 24,000 
jobs. Job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+8,000) and 
couriers and messengers (+5,000). Transportation and warehousing 
has added 174,000 jobs over the year.
      Employment in construction continued to trend up in 
September (+23,000). Over the year, construction employment has 
increased by 315,000.
      Employment in manufacturing also continued to trend up in 
September (+18,000), with a gain of 17,000 in durable goods. 
Over the year, manufacturing has added 278,000 jobs, most of 
which were in the durable goods component.
      Within mining, support activities for mining added 6,000 
jobs in September.
      Employment in leisure and hospitality was little changed 
over the month (-17,000). Prior to September, employment in the 
industry had been on a modest upward trend. Some of the weakness 
in this industry in September may reflect the impact of 
Hurricane Florence.
      Employment in other major industries--including wholesale 
trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and 
government--showed little or no change over the month. 
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls increased by 8 cents in September to $27.24. Over the 
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.8 
percent. From August 2017 to August 2018, the Consumer Price 
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.7 percent 
(on a seasonally adjusted basis).
      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.7 
percent in September. The number of unemployed people fell by 
270,000 to 6.0 million, largely among adult women. Over the 
year, the number of unemployed people declined by 795,000, and 
the unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage point.
      Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for 
work for 27 weeks or more was little changed at 1.4 million in 
September. These long-term unemployed accounted for 22.9 percent 
of the unemployed.
      The labor force participation rate held at 62.7 percent in 
September, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.4 percent, 
was little changed. 
      In September, there were 4.6 million people working part 
time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-
time workers). Although this measure was up by 263,000 over the 
month, it has been trending down over the year and is 506,000 
lower than a year ago. 
      Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
September, 1.6 million were considered marginally attached to 
the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. 
Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who 
believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 383,000 
in September, also about unchanged from a year earlier. 
(Marginally attached to the labor force refers to people who 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.)
      In summary, the unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent 
in September, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 
134,000.



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Last Modified Date: October 05, 2018