What business leaders look for in the recent employment statistics

 In September 2023, the U.S. added 336,000 jobs, keeping the unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent. Job gains were seen in various sectors, including leisure and hospitality, government, healthcare, professional services, and social assistance. Additionally, average hourly earnings increased by 0.2 percent, and there were upward revisions to job numbers in July and August.

In September 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following key points regarding the employment situation:

Total Nonfarm Payroll Employment:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 336,000 jobs.
  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent.

Household Survey Data:

  • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8 percent, with 6.4 million unemployed persons.
  • Unemployment rates across various demographic groups showed little or no change.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million.
  • Labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio remained unchanged.
  • About 4.1 million people were employed part-time for economic reasons.
  • 5.5 million individuals not in the labor force wanted a job, similar to the prior month.
  • 1.5 million individuals were marginally attached to the labor force.
  • The number of discouraged workers (those who believed no jobs were available for them) was 367,000.

Establishment Survey Data:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 336,000, exceeding the average monthly gain of 267,000 over the previous 12 months.
  • Job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and social assistance.
  • Leisure and hospitality added 96,000 jobs, with food services and drinking places returning to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Government employment increased by 73,000, primarily in state government education and local government.
  • Health care added 41,000 jobs, with growth in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services added 29,000 jobs.
  • Social assistance added 25,000 jobs.
  • Employment in transportation and warehousing showed little change.
  • Employment in information declined by 5,000, particularly in motion picture and sound recording industries.
  • Other major industries experienced little change in employment.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents (0.2 percent) to $33.88.
  • Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings increased by 4.2 percent.


  • July’s employment change was revised up by 79,000, and August’s change was revised up by 40,000, resulting in a combined increase of 119,000 jobs.

These data provide insights into the employment situation in September 2023, with notable job gains in several sectors and steady unemployment rates. Average hourly earnings also increased over the year.

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