Jobless Rate in U.S. Falls to 5.9%, Lowest Since July 2008

Bloomberg – by Lorraine Woellert

The U.S. jobless rate declined to a six-year low of 5.9 percent in September and employers in the U.S. added more workers than projected, signs of more vigor in the labor market that will help sustain faster economic growth.

The 248,000 gain in payrolls followed a 180,000 August increase that was bigger than previously estimated, the Labor Department reported in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 215,000 advance. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since July 2008 from 6.1 percent.  

“This report was strong across the board,” said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays PLC in New York and the top payrolls forecaster according to Bloomberg data. “The labor market continues to grow fast enough to keep pushing the unemployment rate down.”

Sustained, elevated gains in hiring are needed to help bring about faster wage growth and put the expansion in a self-reinforcing cycle of more consumer spending and employment opportunities. Federal Reserve policy makers are trying to determine the extent of labor-market slack as the central bank approaches the end of asset purchases aimed at boosting growth.

Stocks Advance

Stock-index futures extended gains after the figures were released. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in December increased 0.5 percent to 1,949 at 8:55 a.m. in New York. The yield on 10-year Treasuries notes gained four basis points to 2.47 percent.

Today’s report showed average hourly earnings were stagnant in September from a month earlier.

The stronger-than-expected increase in net hiring last month reflected a pickup at grocery stores, factories and restaurants.

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 100 economists ranged from gains of 155,000 to 265,000 after a previously reported 142,000 advance. Revisions to prior reports added 69,000 jobs from payrolls in the previous two months.

The unemployment rate, which is derived from a Labor Department survey of households, was projected to hold at 6.1 percent, according to the survey median.

The so-called participation rate, which measures the number of Americans employed or looking for a job as a share of the working-age population, decreased to 62.7 percent, the lowest since February 1978, from 62.8 percent a month before.

Construction, Retail

Employment at private service providers increased 207,000, while payrolls rose by 4,000 at factories. Construction companies added 16,000 workers for a second month and retail employment grew by 35,300 last month.

Automakers boosted hiring by 3,300 in September after a 4,500 drop in August that may have reflected the timing of plant shutdowns to retool for the new model year.

Employment at food and beverage stores rebounded 19,500 after a decline in August, when workers walked off the job at a New England grocer.

Today’s employment report also showed average hourly earnings were unchanged in September and up 2 percent over the past 12 months.

The underemployment rate, a gauge that counts the unemployed, workers settling for part-time jobs, and people who have given up the search, fell to 11.8 percent in September from 12 percent a month earlier. The gauge has averaged 15.1 percent since the recession ended in June 2009.

Fed’s Focus

While the unemployment is falling and more people are finding work, Fed policy makers are monitoring other figures, such as the underemployment rate and worker pay, to gauge the strength of the labor market.

Policy makers in September stuck to their pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after the Fed stops buying assets. The Fed tapered monthly bond buying to $15 billion in their seventh consecutive $10 billion cut, staying on course to end the purchase program this month.

“There are still too many people who want jobs but cannot find them, too many who are working part time but would prefer full-time work,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a Sept. 17 press conference in Washington after the central bank’s last policy meeting. That “significant underutilization of labor resources” is keeping lid on wages, she said.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Sept. 5 to Sept. 10 forecast the U.S. economy will add 216,000 jobs a month on average this year. That compares with 2013’s average of 194,250 and 186,330 the previous year.

Railroad Hiring

Norfolk Southern Corp. is among employers putting up help-wanted signs. Shipments have surged after a weather-related slowdown earlier this year, the Norfolk, Virginia-based railroad said.

“We’ve stepped up hiring and we have accelerated our training cycle,” Jim Squires, the company’s president, said at a Sept. 23 investor conference. “We expect to grow by about 900 additional train and engine employees who will come into service largely in the fourth quarter.”

Cars and trucks are another source of strength. Autos have sold at a 16 million annualized rate or faster in each of the last seven months, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group.

Those stronger sales helped boost household purchases by 0.5 percent in August after little change a month earlier, the Commerce Department reported this week.

Consumer Spending

Household spending and a pickup in capital investment are keeping American assembly lines busy. Factories had their strongest quarter in more than three years, according to data this week from the Institute for Supply Management. While the group’s index dropped to 56.6 last month from 59 in August, its average over the past three months was the highest since early 2011.

“We’re seeing continued momentum from the incoming U.S. economic data,” Emily Kolinski Morris, chief economist at Ford Motor Co., said on an Oct. 1 sales call. “Favorable indicators include continued robust manufacturing activity, growth in investment spending, gradually improving employment conditions with modest income growth, and stabilizing and potential modest gains in housing.”

“While there are still shortcomings in the labor market, conditions have continued to improve gradually,” she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorraine Woellert in Washington

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Carlos Torres at ctorres59@bloomberg.netVince Golle, Brendan Murray

11 thoughts on “Jobless Rate in U.S. Falls to 5.9%, Lowest Since July 2008

  1. Gotta be common core math.
    92,000,000 working age people with no job does not equal single digit percentage unemployment in a nation of 300,000,000.

  2. I’m sure all of those “other” unemployed, that aren’t being counted, are breathing a sigh of relief…
    So now we’ll have to wait until next month when they release the revised figures that show that what happened didn’t really happen.

  3. My Fellow Americans:

    Like it’s straight out of some comedy show:

    “… (people laughing hysterically,… then you hear the comedian start talking again),…. so yeah,…. so I’m down at the unemployment office,… standing in one of the dreaded lines wondering to myself,… is that me that smells like that?,.. or is one of the people on this line dead! (laughter ensues….),…. well,….FINALLY!!!,… I get to see a … “Customer Service Representative” (in a pee-wee herman like voice…. laughter ensues…),…. and I say,.. “gee,… I have been looking real hard for a job,… and can’t seem to find one!”,….. the lady behind the counter gives me a deadpan look for a couple of moments, (laughter….) …. & without even blinking her eyes,… finally says,… “well honey,…. that’s because the Unemployment Rate has dropped to 5.9 percent!”,… (The Audience ROARS rancorously with laughter!!!!,……)……..”

    Yes my fellow Americans,.. America has become a parody of reality, a laughing stock of the world,… a communist lab experiment,…. and completely insane, pyschotic and total nonsense-lies has now become the daily, ritualistic insulting treatment of the masses,… designed to be insulting, designed to convey a message of complete disdain, and proof of the complete and utter futility of dealing with this deranged criminal cartel ensconced in Washington DC.

    There is only one remedy for this,… we MUST physically remove them from power,.. & from this country, or exterminate them,.. because they are,.. already exterminating us, and will ramp up that effort to achieve a reduction in our numbers as quickly as we will let them get away with it.

    JD – US Marines – They urinates on our Rights, on our Intelligence and on our most basic Principles,… it is time to say them,… leave this country,.. or DIE with your fellow commies, pyscho-traitors, & zionist/international/monetary-jews!


  4. This entire article is a complete lie, and it paints such a rosy picture of our crashing economy that we must be near the breaking point.

    Stocks are up, employment’s up, and everyone’s making money, so it’s time to put the last of your savings into the stock market so we can rob those dollars too.

    If there actually was a 248,000 gain in payrolls while factories disappear and retail chains are dropping like flies, it can only mean that Obama hired a half-million useless bureaucrats at your expense, and they’re all being paid with counterfeit money.

  5. Its not what I’m seeing at work. I work as a temp in the company I was laid off from as a regular employee and replaced by INDIANS from INDIA! Over the summer I saw over 200 amerians get wacked. They brought in a bunch of “INTERNS”, and every last one of them were from INDIA. They are here on student VISAs, and taking American jobs.

    The job numbers are an outright LIE!!!! We are being replaced by FOREINERS.

    Right now as I right this the manager I report to has a T-Shirt on his cubicle wall. it is red with the gold emblem of the SOVIET HAMER AND CYCLE!!!!!!! This is fact. This is reality. He told me years ago when I worked for him as a regular employee that: ” You can not have your opinions and work for this company”. A year later I and others were laid off. Every one of us was of similar opinions, and would not have trained our replacements. This manager hired another little creep who is now promoted to architect and told me in private that “I don’t like Northern California. It is too white.”. I asked him if he thinks we whites should just go off some place and die? I got no answer. This guy is White by the way. He had a big hand in hiring all these Asian foreigners.

    We have a large number of traitors in our midst and my opinion are not rational or sane. They may be highly intelegent, but they really are high functioning psychopaths who enjoy the orders given them from the executive counciles to start getting rid of the whites form the work force and replace them with people from Asia who hate America, and hate us in general. Then on top of that these Asians come and ask me questions even though I have a much lower ranking then them and paid far less. I have degrees to my name in a highly technical field and can’t get a regular job in it.

    That is what I have to deal with every freaking day.

    Someday somehow we must take our country back, or there is not going to be a future for us or our children. PERIOD!!!!

    1. Hi VRWC,

      This has always been the plan.

      What we are witnessing,.. is it’s execution in practice.

      JD – US Marines – There is only one way out of this,… and it involves fighting, shooting,…. and a lot of blood on the streets!,… not because Americans want that,.. but because that is the only language these pyscho-commies/international/zionist-jews understand.


  6. There is simply no hope for the idiots that believe the crap being put forth in this pitiful excuse for an article. They may as well be standing in the worst drought stricken area having these liars piss on them while they say “See! It’s raining! The drought is over!”

    1. Hi Sunfire,

      It’s even worse than that.

      They could stand in the middle of the Sahara Desert, have the commies stand above them and urinate on them, WHILE THEY ARE TELLING THEM: “Oh,.. by the way!,.. that’s NOT rain!,… that’s piss!,.. I’m urinating all over you!!!!….”

      The brain dead sheeple who were being pissed on like that, would turn around and ARGUE!, that: “… NO!!!,.. YOU ARE NOT PISSING ON ME!!!!,.. THAT’S RAIN!!!,… I CAN TASTE IT!!!”

      THIS,.. is how brainwashed, how effectively proganadized half the people in this country are.

      Its up to the other half,.. the half that is awake, or waking,… that will have to do the dirty work,.. as usual.

      JD – US Marines – It wouldn’t matter if dogs like Ocrapo or that garbage Eric Holder came and said,… “YEAH!,… we’re not just pissing on Americans,.. HELL!,… we’re crapping on them too!..”,.. the 50% that is lost in the Matrix,.. can never be rescued,.. their minds are simply to far gone,… and that’s a plain truth.


      1. Hey JD ” the 50% that is lost in the Matrix,.. can never be rescued,.. their minds are simply to far gone,… and that’s a plain truth.”
        You are correct. They are helpless. They don’t know what critical thinking is. It’s amazing how utterly ignorant some people are.

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