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Labor Dept.: Unemployment, job growth down in September

08 October 2018
Labor Dept.: Unemployment, job growth down in September

The rate dropped from 3.9 percent in August, according to the latest Labor Department report.

The economy added 134,00 jobs last month, well below what economists predicted, largely because of a decline in the leisure sector, which was hit hard by Hurricane Florence. It also represented a milestone in the remarkable rebound that followed: eight straight years of monthly job growth, double the previous record.

The rate remained unchanged in September at 62.7 percent of eligible workers in the workforce, down from a pre-recession rate of 66 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969. And Americans with only a high school diploma recorded their best unemployment rate since 2001.

In reporting September's employment figures, the government revised sharply upward its estimate of hiring for July and August.

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding relatively steady, hovering above the psychological level of $1,200 an ounce as the US labor market showed a mixed picture last month.

Where is the wage growth? "I'm not sure there's much slack left to wring out of this labor market".

Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC described September's employment report as "solid", despite the weaker than expected headline number.

Washington last month slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60bn worth of United States products. At the same time, other demographic factors also lower the wage total, as higher-paid older workers retire.

The FOMC will continue to gradually raise the fed funds rate in 2019 as the job market continues to tighten. However, the change was little compared to August's job report.

The modest job gains came after private payrolls firm ADP said hiring surged 230,000 in the month, but the two reports often diverge since they calculate employment differently.

Earlier this week, Amazon announced that it was raising its minimum wage to $US15 an hour, more than twice the federal mandate of $US7.25.

Investors are betting that there's no reason why the Fed won't raise interest rates again in December and several more times next year too. But that figure was likely depressed by the impact of Hurricane Florence. That reversed the bulk of the increase from the prior week when claims were boosted by Hurricane Florence, which slammed North and SC in mid-September. Natural disasters can affect employment numbers in various ways: interfering with data collection, disrupting hiring and putting people temporarily out of work as businesses shutter and residents evacuate. September's unemployment rate has decreased or remained the same every year since it hit a high of 9.8 percent in 2009.

Construction companies hired 23,000 more workers last month after increasing payrolls by 26,000 jobs in August. Economists have said any weather-related volatility in the data may be short-lived, similar to the pattern around past storms. "There are plenty of new, high paying jobs available in our great and very vibrant economy", Trump said in a September 20 tweet.