Jobless rate falls to lowest since '69

Despite the added jobs, the unemployment rate was up 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 per cent, with 1,300 more working-age people unemployed than past year in September. Teen unemployment fell by 0.3 percent to 12.8 percent. The unemployment rate for workers with less than a high school degree or just a high school degree fell by 0.2 percentage points, while the unemployment rate for workers with some college fell by 0.3 percentage points. In the Household Survey, employment rose 420,000, reversing August's 423,000 fall.

Since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturing employment has risen by 1,294,000 workers, with 12,747,000 employees in the sector in this report.

The U6 rate, the so-called underemployment rate, went up 0.1 points from August to 7.5% in September. This is the longest period of job growth in history. S&P Global economist Satyam Panday noted that the three-month average for job gains was 190,000, slightly below the rate of 201,000 over the previous year.

On a year-over-year percentage-change basis, the performance numbers in September were: +1.7% for "total"; +1.7% for "services"; +2.2% for manufacturing; and +4.5% for construction.

Job gains were noted in healthcare, up 26,000, transportation and warehousing, up 24,000, and construction, up 23,000.

Outpatient care centers added 1,000 jobs in September, while offices of other health practitioners added 2,000.

On the service side, retail lost 20,000 jobs in September, while restaurants lost 18,200. There were strong upward revisions to prior months and a larger than expected drop in the unemployment rate. For all jobs in the USA economy, average hourly earnings were +2.8% year over year and average weekly earnings, +3.4%. However, the annualized increase in the average for the last three months (July, August, September) compared with the prior three months (April, May, June) is 3.4 percent.

By industry, the strongest wage growth is in the low-paying restaurant sector, which has seen a 4.3 percent increase in the average hourly wage for production and nonsupervisory workers over the a year ago. Often when wages increase, employers may begin to use more automation or equipment to reduce human labor requirements.

Investors are also watching the wage-growth number closely amid a sell-off in the bond market this week.

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