US unemployment rate declines to 3.5% in Sept

October 11, 2019 - United States Of America

The unemployment rate in the United States declined to 3.5 per cent in September and total non-farm payroll employment rose by 136,000, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Employment in health care and in professional and business services continued to trend up. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.8 million.

In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.5 per cent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent.

Job growth has averaged 161,000 per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. In September, employment continued to trend up in health care and in professional and business services.

Retail trade employment changed little in September (-11,000). Within the industry, clothing and clothing accessories stores lost 14,000 jobs, while food and beverage stores added 9,000 jobs. Since reaching a peak in January 2017, retail trade has lost 197,000 jobs.

Employment in government continued on an upward trend in September (+22,000). Federal hiring for the 2020 Census was negligible (+1,000). Government has added 147,000 jobs over the past 12 months, largely in local government.

Employment in transportation and warehousing edged up in September (+16,000). Within the industry, job growth occurred in transit and ground passenger transportation (+11,000) and in couriers and messengers (+4,000).