U.S. Adds Double Expected Number of Jobs in September

336,000

The US economy added 336,000 nonfarm jobs in September, nearly double the 170,000 jobs economists had predicted and surpassing the upwardly revised 227,000 jobs in August, according to government data released yesterday. The latest figure is the largest monthly increase since January. Most of the jobs in September were added in leisure and hospitality (96,000), government (73,000), and healthcare (41,000). Average hourly earnings in September were up 0.2% month-over-month and 4.2% year-over-year, slightly down from estimates of 0.3% and 4.3%. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8% from the previous month. See all data here.

It’s the Economy’s Great, Stupid!


An estimated 166,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, down nearly 5,000 claims from the previous week and better than analyst projections of 200,000. It is the lowest figure since November 1968 (and the second-lowest since weekly reporting began in January 1967). Continuing claims rose slightly by 17,000 to 1.52 million, coming two years after the number of claims reached an all-time high of 6.1 million in April 2020.

The decline shows employers are limiting layoffs in a tight labor market. Roughly 1.8 job openings are available for every unemployed worker; the unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in March, just above the prepandemic level of 3.5%. Nearly 4.4 million workers left their jobs in February, a number that has held steady as employers try to fill job openings.

The figure represents the third consecutive week that new claims fell below 200,000.

U.S. Jobless Claims Hit New Low

375,000

Associated Press: “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for a third straight time last week, the latest sign that employers are laying off fewer people as they struggle to fill a record number of open jobs and meet a surge in consumer demand. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week. … A total of about 12 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, down sharply from the previous week’s figure of nearly 13 million… So far at least, there has been little sign that the delta variant has depressed hiring or prompted layoffs.”