Job Growth Remains Solid

Total non-farm payrolls increased by 156,000 in September which was lower than the expected 176,000. So far this year, job growth has averaged 178,000 per month, compared with an average of 229,000 per month in 2015. The unemployment rate ricked slightly upwards to 5.0 percent and the number of unemployed, at 7.9 million, changed little. Both measures have shown little movement since August of last year.

Job gains occurred in professional and business services with 67,000 new positions while health care added 33,000 jobs and food and bar services added 30,000. Retail trade continued to trend up over the month with an addition of 22,000 jobs.

Mining employment was unchanged in September and employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) accounted for 24.9 percent of the unemployed population and remained unchanged at 2.0 million. Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment population ratio, at 59.8 percent, were unchanged in September.

Average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees rose by 6 cents to $25.79. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6 percent.

The Federal Reserve is looking to get rates back to normal and there is implication that could happen in December so this report comes at a critical time.  With the presidential election, however, there may be further postponement.