September Hiring Grows, But Economists Call Numbers Disappointing

Date: October 06, 2015

Monthly Data Shows 142,000 New Jobs, Unemployment Steady At 5.1%

The Department of Labor has issued monthly jobs data, noting that in September the US added 142,000 jobs. This was the 67th month in a row that the private sector reported job growth, and 13.2 million private jobs have been added since 2010. However, the unemployment rate for the month held steady from August, at 5.1%. Over the past year, “the number of people employed part-time for economic reasons has fallen by one million,” the Labor Department said. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said of the latest numbers, “The economy remains out of balance, with too many of the benefits of this recovery enjoyed by too few people. While average hourly earnings have increased modestly this year, real wages remain virtually flat over the long term. Too many working families are finding economic stability more and more elusive. They are struggling to get by, let alone get ahead.” Despite this, Perez added, “I am bullish about the progress we have made, but I am even more bullish that we can have an even more robust economy that gives everyone a fair shot to succeed.” McClatchy reported that job growth was seen in the professional and business services sector, which added 31,000 jobs, while healthcare also showed strong growth, with 34,400 new jobs, and leisure and hospitality added 35,000 jobs. Meanwhile, manufacturing lost 9,000 jobs over the month.

What This Means For Small Businesses

September’s official government jobs report is cause for concern for the small business community, as it indicates a possible slowing of the economy. The Hill noted that August’s jobs data was revised downward from 173,000 jobs to 136,000, but economists had expected “200,000 new jobs and were expecting to see a strong rebound heading into the final three months of the year.” In comments on the NFIB’s September jobs report, NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg forecast …”the creation of 230,000 jobs. Not a great number compared to the 1983-90 recovery of a much smaller economy, but still positive. The unemployment rate will remain steady around 5 percent.”

Additional Reading

The Washington Post’s “Wonkblog” and the New York Times also cover the latest Labor Department jobs report. In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal also highlighted the numbers.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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