The US economy added 114,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8%. Here’s the breakdown of employment status for all Americans age 16 and above:
Here’s what job creation and loss looked like in various industries last month:
Some additional data that caught our eye:
Labor force participation rate — the share of people looking for work or working — was little changed at 63.6%.
Temp workers — considered a forward looking gauge on the jobs market, because companies tend to hire temps before staffing up permanently — lost 2,000 jobs. There has been growing concern that companies are starting to brace for any potential negative impact of the fiscal cliff after the election.
The last time the unemployment rate was at 7.8% was back when President Obama was inaugurated.
Part-time workers — those looking for or who previously had full-time work — rose by 600,000.
The number of discouraged workers dropped by 235,000.
One sign that the prolonged weakness in the economy has had a deep impact on people. Long-term unemployed — those jobless for 27 weeks or more — was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1% percent of the unemployed. This is a big concern for economists who worry that over time large chunks of potential workers will see their skills atrophy and become less and less likely to return to work.
Maybe this is why consumer sentiment has been moving slightly higher lately: In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $19.81. There hasn’t been a jump that size since the 7 cent increase seen in July last year.