Last month, the unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent, the lowest it has been since December 1969. That’s a 0.2 percent decline from the previous month. It’s also the 19th month in a row that the unemployment rate was at or below 4 percent. Additionally, employers throughout September added 136,000 jobs, short of economists’ predictions of 147,000 jobs. Despite missing projections, job gains throughout 2019 have averaged an impressive 161,000 per month.
Let’s take a detailed look at the September Jobs Report.
Employers keep adding jobs despite worries of economic growth
September 2019 was the 108th month in a row of payroll job gains. In other words, despite a shaky stock market this last week and fears of global growth cooling off, employers keep hiring at a remarkable pace.
Over the past two months, payroll employment was positively revised by an additional 45,000 job gains than previously reported. In July, job gains were revised from 159,000 to 166,000 jobs (+7,000 jobs) and from 130,000 gains in August to 168,000. After revisions, monthly job gains have averaged 157,000 over the last three months.
Unemployment claims also remained steady throughout the month at 219,000 for the week ending on September 28. The unemployment ratio (61 percent) was little changed over the month as the labor force participation rate held to 63.2 percent in September. Additionally, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to a total of 5.8 million last month. In other words, the labor market is continuing to add jobs, while the number of unemployed Americans continues to decline, which illustrates the true strength of today’s job market.
September Jobs Report: Gains by industry
Last month, healthcare employers added 39,000 jobs, which was on par with the industry’s average monthly gains over the previous 12 months. Both ambulatory healthcare services (+29,000) and hospitals (+8,000) added jobs over the month.
The professional and business services industry continued to grow with an additional 34,000 job gains throughout the month. In 2019, the industry has averaged monthly gains of 35,000.
Employment in government resumed its growth with gains of 22,000 jobs. Over the last 12 months, government job gains have totaled 147,000, mainly coming from local government positions.
The transportation and warehousing industry edged upward in September with 16,000 job gains. Gains from this industry originated from both transit and ground passenger transportation (+11,000) and in couriers and messengers (+4,000).
Retail trade took another hit with the loss of 11,000 jobs. However, this number is consistent with last month’s report. Despite this decline, food and beverage stores added 9,000 jobs throughout the month.
Employment in all other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, showed little change over the month.
Finding the talent you need in Q4
With hundreds of thousands of jobs added throughout the first three quarters of 2019, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employers to find candidates to fill their open positions. If you’re a worker thinking about making a career move, now is a great time to transition into a new role and make a jump in your career. But if you’re a hiring manager, this tight market can be frustrating. If your team needs a helping hand to navigate today’s job market, reach out to one of our recruiters at JSG. Let’s team up and work together to find the talent your organization needs to keep production healthy in the final quarter of 2019.