Four stand-out points in the September U.S. jobs report

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October 8 (Businesshala) – For the second month in a row, US job growth proved extremely disappointing in September, coming in at more than 300,000 jobs compared to many economists. The August report initially came in at about half a million jobs. Below the consensus estimate of economists.

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but 41 pages bureau of labor statistics report Offers a wide range of data on the US job market, and plenty of fodder for both the glass-half-full and glass-half-empty camps.

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Not surprisingly, President Joe Biden put his lot in line with the first group. After the report was released, he said, “Jobs have increased, wages have increased, unemployment has decreased. That is progress.”

Here are four data points that stood out.

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drop in unemployment rate

The unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive month and was higher than expected. Now at 4.8%, it is 10 percentage points south of its peak level in April 2020. Most economists agree that it is an incomplete measure of the health of the labor market, but it still heavily factors into the calculations of both the average person and the typical policy maker. The economy, and it is improving at a pace not seen since most recessions. In fact, the latest level is already where Federal Reserve officials on balance predicted it would be at the end of the year.

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Any more $300 a week

Among the many exaggerations in the September report, it jumped off the page: The ranks of the long-time unemployed, or those not working for more than half a year, fell the most in the past month, with 560,000 people leaving their rolls. . Why? Simple – money ran out. The $300 per week federal supplement to standard state jobless benefits ended near the beginning of the month. The emergency program had been in place since the beginning of the summer, when 26 mostly Republican-led states ended benefits early. But the final decision was taken last month. Now the question is how many of them are back in the job market in the coming months.

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Wage inflation?

There’s no shortage of anecdotes about employers tempting people to work with higher pay, but given how noisy the data is during the coronavirus pandemic, evidence for the emergence of a real trend has been daunting. The Labor Department’s average hourly earnings data, however, has stabilized over the past half year and a new — and for now high — growth pattern is emerging. Average hourly wages rose 0.6% last month — again higher than expected — and have now gained an average of 0.5% per month over the past six months. This is almost double the monthly wage increase that was there before the pandemic.

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seasonal adjustment

Schools reopened in far greater numbers this year than a year ago when vaccines were still in the development stage and many public schools introduced a year of hybrid or fully online instruction. So why did public school employment drop by 144,000 last month? Answer: It didn’t happen. And all this is the fault of the “seasonal adjustment”. September is generally the strongest month for hiring in US public schools, with approximately 850,000 jobs added at the start of each school year from 2000 to 2019. Then came the pandemic, and September job growth in public schools was 15-20 in the past two years. % below that trend — throwing off the Labor Department’s seasonal-adjustment model.

Reporting by Dan Burns Editing by Paul Simao

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