The U.S. economy lost 33,000 non-farm payroll positions in September, according to today's monthly employment report released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure is 113.25 percent lower than a year prior, when 249,000 jobs were added, and 119.53 percent lower than August's addition of 169,000 jobs. September's figure is much lower than economists' expectation of 80,000 additional jobs, and can be attributed to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Although September's report marks the first monthly decline in employment in seven years, employment is expected to rebound in the coming months. Because the economy has been nearing full employment the past eight months, this loss is slightly less concerning.
In May, June, and July, the unemployment rate dropped to a 16-year low—4.3 percent. September exceeded the 16-year low (as well as economists' expectations of 4.4 percent), with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.2 percent for the first time since 2001.
Average hourly earnings in September continued the upward trend initiated in December, when earnings posted the largest 12-month gain since 2009. On average, employees on private non-farm payrolls saw their hourly earnings increase $0.12 in September to $26.55. Hourly earnings for all private nonfarm payrolls have increased by $0.74 (or 2.9 percent) over the past 12 months, and September wages are now 2.87 percent higher than a year prior, when average weekly earnings were $25.81.
Employment in the construction industry showed little change in September, with the addition of 8,000 jobs. Employment of nonresidential buildings increased by 4,800, while residential building construction jobs decreased by 3,900. Employment in heavy and civil engineering construction also decreased by 1,600 positions in September.
Employment in the manufacturing industry showed little change in September, with a loss of 1,000 jobs. According to BLS' press release, "from a recent employment trough in November 2016 through August of this year, the industry had added an average of 14,000 jobs per month."
Meanwhile, payrolls in the architectural and engineering services added a healthy 1,200 jobs in September, marking the 17th consecutive month of growth.
Read the full release here.
From the BLS' historical data release: The BLS also releases detailed information subsets of key markets with a one-month lag, in this case offering more detailed information of employment in architectural services categories. The charts below highlight a monthly job-growth breakdown of the architectural services, landscape architectural services, and engineering and drafting services between August 2016 and August 2017. Details of these subcategories' performance in September will be revealed in next month's historical data release.