US Economy Adds 194,000 Jobs in September, Much Lower than Expected

jobs report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added 194,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate dropped by 40 basis points to 4.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had predicted there to be an increase of 500,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, according to CNBC.

In addition, the total job gains for August were revised upward from 235,000 to 366,000. These numbers from the past two months were much lower than in June, which had employment numbers revised up to 1.05 million. Nonfarm employment has risen by 17.4 million since April 2020 but is 5 million below (or 3.3 percent) from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020, according to the BLS.

There were notable job gains in September in the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade and transportation and warehousing industries. Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 74,000, but is still down by 1.6 million (9.4 percent) from February 2020. Professional and business services added 60,000 jobs last month but is still 385,000 below what it was pre-pandemic. Retail trade employment increased by 56,000 jobs and transportation and warehousing jobs rose by 47,000.

Public education jobs saw a big decline in September. Local government education employment declined by 144,000 and by 17,000 in state government education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most back-to-school hiring occurs in September, which is why it was surprising that hiring last month was lower than usual.

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