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Unemployment in September Hit 50-Year Lows

Fri, October 04, 2019 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The just sworn in U.S. Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, was greeted with good news as the Department reported job growth expanded 136,000 for the month of September; this on the heels of a 38K upward revision to August figures. (September was just above the generally accepted approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved down to only 3.2 percent [or minus 0.4 basis point from August, vs. being down 0.9 basis points from a year ago in September 2018 when it stood at 4.1%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady, while unemployment slipped to 319,000.

The new unemployment figure of 3.5 percent hit a 50-year low not seen since 1969.  (“Unemployed persons” dropped to 5.8 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate actually remained at 63.2 percent. [NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” however improved one-tenth to 61.0 percent. The average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at just under three percent or up 2.9% (over a 12-month rolling basis).

See the Workforce Statistics here.

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