U.S. Economy Adds 148,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Rate Falls

Washington — Oct. 22

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in September and the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The unemployment rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point since June. The number of unemployed people, at 11.3 million, was also little changed over the month. Unemployment has decreased by 522,000 since June.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.1 percent), adult women (6.2 percent), teenagers (21.4 percent), whites (6.3 percent), blacks (12.9 percent) and Hispanics (9 percent) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.3 percent, little changed from a year earlier.

In September, the number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was little changed at 4.1 million. These individuals accounted for 36.9 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 725,000 over the past year.

Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in September. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point, while the employment-population ratio has changed little.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons — sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers — was unchanged at 7.9 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In September, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down from 2.5 million a year earlier. 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 four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 852,000 discouraged workers in September, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics