Respondents said they were working part time because their hours had been reduced.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest employment summary last week showing a rise in employment among nonfarm payroll by 336,000 positions. That move exceeds the average monthly gain of 267,000 over the prior 12-month period but has yet to make an impact on the national unemployment rate, which remains unchanged at 3.8%. The labor force participation rate and the employment to population ratio were unchanged over the course of September, at 62.8% and 60.4%, respectively.

According to the latest BLS survey, 6.4 million people remain unemployed, with weekly claims for unemployment for the week ending September 30 at 207,000—an increase of 2,000 from the prior week.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Among major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.8%), adult women (3.1%), teenagers (11.6%), Whites (3.4%), Blacks (5.7%), Asians (2.8%), and Hispanics (4.6%) showed little or no change in September, BLS reports. The number of individuals unemployed on a long-term basis (27 weeks or more) also showed little change, at 1.2 million in September, accounting for 19.1% of all unemployed persons.

The number of individuals working part time, who would prefer to be employed full time, remained largely unchanged at 4.1 million. In those cases, respondents said they were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time positions.

When it comes to average hourly earnings, among employees on private nonfarm payrolls wages increased by 7 cents, or 0.2%, to $33.88. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings increased by 4.2%, BLS reports.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in September. In manufacturing, the average workweek changed little, clocking in at 40.1 hours, with overtime remaining at an average of 3.1 hours.

If there’s any silver lining for employers in the latest numbers, it might be that 5.5 million persons indicated they currently desire a job—roughly the same as August. The same individuals reported they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey.


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