Job gains
Job gains in several sectors, including leisure and hospitality, drove a surge in employment in September. (Courtesy photo)

 Job gains occurred in several sectors, including leisure and hospitality, government, health care, professional, scientific, technical services, and social assistance.

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

(NNPA NEWSWIRE) – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Oct. 6 that American employers added 336,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent.

According to the new report, job gains occurred in several sectors, including leisure and hospitality, government, health care, professional, scientific, technical services and social assistance. The household survey’s key labor market indicators showed minimal to no change over the month. The number of unemployed remained essentially unchanged at 6.4 million.

Among different worker groups, unemployment rates showed slight variation in September: adult men (3.8 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (11.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.8 percent) and Hispanics (4.6 percent).

The number of long-term unemployed (those without work for 27 weeks or more) saw little change, resting at 1.2 million, constituting 19.1 percent of all unemployed individuals. The labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) and the employment-population ratio (60.4 percent) remained steady over the month.

Approximately 4.1 million individuals were employed part-time due to economic reasons, with their hours either reduced or them being unable to secure full-time positions, indicating little change from the previous month. Those who desired employment but were not actively seeking work during the four weeks leading up to the survey or were unavailable to take a job totaled 5.5 million, a marginal difference from the prior month.

Among those not in the labor force but still seeking employment, about 1.5 million individuals were marginally attached to the labor force. These individuals were available for work and had looked for a job sometime within the past 12 months but not in the four weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached group who believed no jobs were available, held steady at 367,000.

Leisure and hospitality witnessed a notable increase in jobs, adding 96,000 positions, surpassing the average monthly gain of 61,000 over the last year. Employment in food services and drinking establishments rose by 61,000 over the month, returning to its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Accommodation employment also experienced an upward trend (+16,000), though it remains 217,000 below its February 2020 level, a decline of 10.3 percent.

Government employment saw an uptick of 73,000, exceeding the average monthly gain of 47,000 over the past 12 months. Gains in local government without regard to education (+27,000) and state government education (+29,000) were the main drivers of the increase. However, overall government employment remains slightly below its February 2020 level by 9,000.

Health care added 41,000 jobs in September, a deviation from the average monthly gain of 53,000 over the past year. Ambulatory healthcare services saw the most significant increase (+24,000), with hospitals (+8,000) and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000) also contributing to the growth.

Professional, scientific, and technical services saw an uptick of 29,000 jobs, aligning with the average monthly gain of 27,000 over the past 12 months. Social assistance also experienced growth, adding 25,000 jobs, consistent with the average monthly increase of 23,000 over the prior year. Individual and family services accounted for most of this job growth (+19,000).

Transportation and warehousing employment remained largely stable, with a marginal increase of 9,000 jobs. Truck transportation added 9,000 jobs within this sector, rebounding from a 25,000 job decline in August. Air transportation saw an increase of 5,000 jobs. Employment in transportation and warehousing showed little net change over the year.

Employment in the information sector experienced a slight decrease (-5,000). Specifically, the work in motion picture and sound recording industries continued to trend downward (-7,000), marking a decline of 45,000 since May, reflecting the impact of labor disputes.

Other major industries, including mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, financial activities, and other services, saw little change in employment over the month.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $33.88. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 4.2 percent. For private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, average hourly earnings rose by 6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.06.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.4 hours. In the manufacturing sector, the average workweek also experienced little change at 40.1 hours, with overtime remaining constant at 3.1 hours. Similarly, for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, the average workweek held steady at 33.8 hours.

The total number of nonfarm payroll employees for July increased by 79,000, from +157,000 to +236,000, while August ‘s numbers increased by 40,000, from +187,000 to +227,000. These revisions bring the combined employment figures for July and August to 119,000, higher than previously reported.