Labor Dept.: Unemployment, job growth down in September

10 5 18 unemployment COTD

The drop of two-tenths of a percentage point in the U.S. unemployment rate from 3.9% in August pushed it to levels last seen in December 1969 and left it near the Fed's forecast of 3.7% by the end of this year.

Other features of the household survey, from which the jobless rate is derived, also showed 276,000 folks couldn't work during the week the Bureau of Labor Statistics does its monthly survey because of weather reasons.

The Black unemployment rate under Trump has been largely a source of concern, with many African Americans anxious about increases or stagnant immobilization when it comes to joblessness. The data come a day after a selloff in government bonds renewed concerns about rising inflation and whether the Federal Reserve will have to lift borrowing costs at a faster pace in order to keep the USA economy from overheating.

Wages outpaced inflation in September, although both the rate of wage growth and inflation have tapered off slightly in the last month.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 185,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent.

Gold prices were modestly higher ahead of the report and have managed to hold on to gains as the market sees little movement in initial reaction.

The Labor Department said it was possible that Hurricane Florence, which lashed the Carolinas in mid-September, could have affected employment in some industries.

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"The acceleration in job gains this year is extraordinary in an environment where firms are having great difficulty finding qualified candidates", said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. September marked the third straight month of unemployment below 4 percent.

So far this year, the average number of jobs created each month is 16 percent higher than last year. This not only deflated the monthly payroll change, it also showed up in outsized wage pressures for the construction and utility sectors.

With September's increase below the 0.5% gain recorded during the same time last year, that lowered the annual increase in wages to 2.8% from 2.9% in August, which was the biggest rise in more than nine years. As more slack is squeezed out of the labor market, economists expect annual wage growth to hit 3 percent. Amazon responded this week by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

A rising number of companies are converting part-timers who have wanted more hours to full-time workers and are posting more full-time jobs. This rate, called U-6 by the BLS, has decreased from 8.3 percent a year ago and 9.7 percent two years ago.

The US economy continued to smash expectations and break records in September, with recently released data showing the unemployment rate dropping to just 3.7%; the lowest level since December 1969. In March 2010, African-American unemployment had hit 16.8 percent.

Employers added fewer nonfarm positions than expected as Hurricane Florence caused job losses in restaurants and bars. "There are plenty of new, high paying jobs available in our great and very vibrant economy", Trump said in a September 20 tweet.

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