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.