Oct 06, 2017

Putting U.S. Employment Numbers in Context – September 2017

Post by Freedom Partners

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for September 2017 was 4.2 percent and that the economy lost 33,000 jobs.

Today marks the eighth full monthly report for the Trump administration, and total monthly job gains have averaged roughly 140,000 during that time. However, this is the first time the economy has lost jobs since September 2010 and more than 13 million individuals are still trying to find work.

The good news is that robust, sustained job growth is finally within reach. This year, Washington has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unrig the economy and enact comprehensive tax reform, spurring job creation and improving the lives of millions of Americans, as well as institute bold, pro-growth policies that curb overspending and reduce regulatory burdens for businesses and individuals.

Below is a deeper look at the numbers from today’s report and what they say about the state of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Unemployment by the Numbers

4.2%: The unemployment rate decreased to 4.2 percent during September, down from 4.4 percent in August 2017.

6,801,000: The total number of unemployed individuals decreased to 6.8 million in September 2017.

(33,000): The economy lost 33,000 jobs during September, down from 169,000 jobs added during August. The number of jobs added during July was revised down to 138,000 from the 189,000 reported last month.

13,492,000: The total number of individuals “underemployed” was 13.5 million during September 2017. This includes those individuals who are unemployed (6.8 million), those who want a job but are no longer looking for work (1.6 million) and those individuals who are working part-time because no other work was available (5.1 million).

8.3%: The “underemployment” or “real unemployment” rate decreased to 8.3 percent during September 2017.

7%: The African American unemployment rate decreased to 7 percent last month, down from 7.7 percent during August.

5.1%: The Hispanic unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent during September 2017.

575,000: The civilian labor force increased 575,000 during September 2017.

63.1%: The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 63.1 percent during September 2017.

1,733,000: The number of individuals unemployed for longer than 27 weeks was 1.7 million during September. The total number of long-term unemployed individuals decreased 7,000 from August 2017.

5,122,000: The number of individuals forced to work part-time because no full-time work was available was 5.1 million during September.

1,569,000: The number of individuals who attempted to look for a job at some point in the last year but have given up their search was 1.6 million during September 2017.

669,000: There were 669,000 unemployed first-time job entrants during September 2017. These individuals entered the labor market for the first time and were unable to find work.

27 Weeks: The average number of weeks it took job seekers to find work increased to 26.8 weeks in September.

6.7%: The millennial unemployment rate (18-29) stayed the same at 6.7 percent in September. When adjusting for pre-recession 2007 labor force participation rates, this figure increases to 10.2 percent.