Except for the unchanged unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, there's not much to be happy about when looking at the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' September employment report, released this morning. The U.S. economy added a mere 142,000 jobs, which is just shy of the 150,000 that many economists say is necessary to keep up with the growth of population. And that's not even the worst monthly results this year, coming in third behind a dismal March and the downwardly revised August number. (August jobs gains were revised down a whopping 37,000 jobs to a new total of 136,000, while July's job gains were revised down 22,000 jobs top 223,000.) This pales in comparison to the 200,000 job gains for September that ADP and Moody's Analytics reported on Wednesday.
The construction industry added 8,000 jobs, after an equally weak (but mildly, upwardly revised) 5,000 jobs added in August. That's a bit of a wet blanket thrown on top of a very good year for the construction market though. To lend a little perspective, the seasonally adjusted September 2015 jobs totals for the construction market are 205,000 jobs higher than they were in September 2014. So this is a weak cap on top of a much stronger year.
Within construction, nonresidential construction uncommonly had a better month than residential. Nonresidential construction of buildings added 400 more jobs than residential construction, and nonresidential contractors added 2,500 more jobs than residential contractors. Both segments were in the black for September, but weakly so. Heavy and civil engineering, however, had a bad month, losing 2,200 jobs.
Manufacturing lost another 9,000 jobs in September, after losing 18,000 jobs in August (revised down from the initial report last month.) Another wet blanket to top a decent market for the economy: For the past year, U.S. manufacturing is up 104,000 jobs from September 2014.
Architectural and engineering services lost another 200 jobs, after losing a (slightly upwardly revised) 4,200 jobs in August. For the year, architectural and engineering services are up 36,300 jobs (or about an average of 3,000 per month). That's not too bad, although most of that generally goes to the engineering fields. Architecture tends to follow similar trends with lower job gain numbers and landscape architecture vacillates between adding and losing jobs each month. (See a detailed breakdown of July's architecture and engineering jobs gains here. And check back later today for a detailed breakdown of August's architecture and engineering job gains.)
Note: This post has been updated to correct the number of jobs added in the construction industry from September 2014 to September 2015.