The U.S. economy gained 136,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.5%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In response to the September job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said: "It is surprising the rate of job creation has slowed, and the rate of labor force participation has stayed almost constant but this lower job growth is sufficient to keep the share of people with jobs rising slightly, and unemployment falling. It clearly reflects the slowing growth rate of the American workforce as the Baby Boom ages." He also tweeted:
The unemployment rate for white men and Latinos are virtually equal at 2.9 and 3.0% though because Latinos have a much higher labor force participation rate, a higher share of Latinos are working 77.6 compared to 69.7% for whites @Marietmora @UnidosUS_Econ @AFLCIO #JobsReport— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019
The broadest measure of labor market slack fell to 6.9% in September. With weak wage growth and moderate job growth, the labor market is still tightening. But the Census report on record levels of inequality are showing employment a weak antidote to address that trend. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019
The "reference week" for the @BLS_gov September jobs report was just before the @UAW strike of GM, but employment in motor vehicle manufacturing slipped 4,000. So, little evidence of a speed up to increase inventory ahead of the strike. #JobsReport @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019
The lack of broad income growth leaves retail floundering despite low unemployment. @BLS_gov reports over 11,000 jobs lost in September in retail. This is another sign of how this recovery is weakened by growing inequality. #JobsReport @UFCW @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (39,000), professional and business services (34,000), government (22,000), and transportation and warehousing (16,000). Employment declined in retail trade (-11,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.5%), blacks (5.5%), Hispanics (3.9%), adult men (3.2%), whites (3.4%), adult women (3.1%) and Asians (2.5%) showed little or no change in September.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in September and accounted for 22.7% of the unemployed.