October 2023 Jobs Report Recap
Posted by Cathleen Urdi on Mon, Oct 16, 2023 @ 03:00 PM

The labor market added 336,000 jobs in September, almost DOUBLE predictions - making it the most significant job growth month since January 2023. The labor market remains resilient, with the strong pace of hiring keeping the unemployment rate from rising.

The Numbers*:

  • The U.S. economy added 336,000 jobs in September.
    • The pace of hiring accelerated from months prior (12-month average +267,000) even considering the upward revisions to July and August job numbers.
    • September was the largest monthly job growth since January 2023.
  • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%. The number of unemployed people was also unchanged at 6.4M.
    • Unemployment rates among major worker groups, also remained the same: 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).
    • Long-term unemployed remained steady at 1.2M and accounted for 19.1% of the unemployed population.
  • Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% or 7 cents.
    • Hourly earnings have increased by 4.2% over the last 12 months.
    • With inflation down but still more than a point and a half higher than the 2% goal, policymakers will continue to closely watch wage growth under the pressure of a tight jobs market.
  • The number of job openings increased to 9.6M (+690,000).
  • The number of hires and total separations changed little, with a slight increase to 5.9M and 5.7M respectively and no change in the rate (3.7% and 3.6%).
    • Within the separations, quits (3.6M) and layoffs and discharges (1.7M) there was little change; the rate stayed the same at 2.3% and 1.1% respectively.
  • The labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.8%.
    • The labor force participation rate remains half a point below the February 2020, pre-pandemic levels.
    • For the 25-54 age group, the participate rate remained the same as August – 83.5%.
    • Discouraged workers and those with part-time jobs edged down to 7%.
  • The number of jobs added in August was revised up by 40,000 to 227,000. July job gains were also revised up by 79,000 to 236,000.

Industry Trends:

  • Leisure and hospitality showed substantial gains, adding 96,000 jobs, and far outpacing the 12-month average of 61,000 jobs added per month.
    • The largest gains were in food services and drinking establishments, a category which has now returned to the February 2020, pre-pandemic level.
    • Government added 73,000 jobs.
  • Government employment in just slightly below (-9000) its February 2020, pre-pandemic level.
  • Healthcare gains slowed. The sector added 41,000 jobs in September, below the 12-month average of +53,000 jobs.
  • Other sectors showing gains included professional, scientific and technical services (+29,000), and social assistance (+25,000).
  • Information sector jobs losses slowed but still decreased by 5000.
  • The entertainment industry declined by 45,000 jobs from May through August due to strikes and lost an additional 5,000 jobs in September.
    • With strikes ending, the sector should show strong growth in October.

Interesting Changes: The labor market isn’t cooling as anticipated or as the Federal Reserve would like. The inflation rate was 3.67%, up from 3.18% in July and 2.97% in June. Inflation is down from 8.26% a year ago but higher than the 2.0 goal and climbing. Wage growth will continue to be a key indicator for the Feds in combating inflation.

Get the latest Jobs Report:


* Above represents September 2023 Data


Topics: Labor Market

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