The headline jobs number in the September employment report was well above expectations, and employment for the previous two months was revised up by 119,000, combined. The participation rate and the employment population ratio were both unchanged, and the unemployment rate was also unchanged at 3.8%.
In September, the year-over-year employment change was 3.09 million jobs.
Headline Jobs, Top 10 Streaks
Year EndedStreak, Months
Prime (25 to 54 Years Old) Participation
Since the overall participation rate is impacted by both cyclical (recession) and demographic (aging population, younger people staying in school) reasons, here is the employment-population ratio for the key working age group: 25 to 54 years old.
The 25 to 54 participation rate was unchanged in September at 83.5% from 83.5% in August, and the 25 to 54 employment population ratio declined to 80.8% from 80.9% the previous month.
Average Hourly Wages
Wage growth has trended down after peaking at 5.9% YoY in March 2022 and was at 4.2% YoY in September. On an annualized basis, wages increased 2.5% in September.
From the BLS report:
“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.1 million, changed little in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons decreased in September to 4.07 million from 4.22 million in August. This is below pre-recession levels.
These workers are included in the alternate measure of labor underutilization (U-6) that decreased to 7.0% from 7.1% in the previous month. This is down from the record high in April 22.9% and up from the lowest level on record (seasonally adjusted) in December 2022 (6.5%). (This series started in 1994). This measure is at the 7.0% level in February 2020 (pre-pandemic).
Unemployed over 26 Weeks
According to the BLS, there are 1.216 million workers who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks and still want a job, down from 1.296 million the previous month.
This is close to the pre-pandemic levels.
The headline monthly jobs number was well above consensus expectations; and July and August payrolls were revised up by 119,000 combined. The unemployment rate was unchanged.