248,000 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added

Economy Gears - Unemployment at 5,9% - Illustration - Concept - IdeaThe BLS ("Bureau of Labor Statistics") released the "Employment Situation Summary" for the month of September earlier today.

The big data point that many in the mainstream media are trumpeting this morning - the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.9% in September. This is notable as this is the first time since September of 2008 that the national unemployment rate has dropped under 6%.

The US economy added 248,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in September, beating the expectations of most observers. The markets, which had been in need of a dose of good news, rallied after the report was released.

Let's take a closer look at the report:

-the civilian labor force (those 16 years and older who are either employed or unemployed and not currently in an institution of some sort) fell 97,000 to 155,862,000

-the labor force participation rate fell 0.1% to 62.7%. This is another multi-decade low

-number of employed Americans increased from 146,368,000 to 146,600,000

-number of unemployed Americans (officially) decreased from 9,591,000 to 9,262,000

-number of Americans "not in the labor force" increased by 315,000 to 92,584,000. This statistic includes everybody who is neither employed or officially "unemployed"

-unemployment rates for adult men and adult women both fell

-unemployment rate for teenagers increased


Two troubling statistics are the ever-decreasing labor force participation rate and the ever-increasing number of Americans who are "not in the labor force". It's tough to get excited about a falling unemployment rate when there are so many Americans who are still on the sidelines. So, while the unemployment rate in the United States continues to fall, many Americans continue to wonder - where are the jobs?

Source: BLS.gov

Source: Historical Unemployment Rates in the United States

Filed under: General Market News

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