US Jobless Rate at 5-Month High of 5% in September

US unemployment rate increased to 5 percent in September 2016, compared to 4.9 percent in the previous month and missing market expectations of 4.9 percent. It was the highest jobless rate since April, as the number of unemployed persons rose by 90 thousand to 7.9 million while the labor force participation rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 62.9 percent.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics increased to 6.4 percent in September, while the rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.4 percent), teenagers (15.8 percent), Whites (4.4 percent), Blacks (8.3 percent), and Asians (3.9 percent) showed little  or no change.

The number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks increased by 284,000 to 2.6 million in September. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.0 million and accounted for 24.9 percent of the unemployed. 

In September, both the labor force participation rate, and employment-population ratio increased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.9 percent and to 59.8 percent, respectively. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary  part-time workers) was little changed in September at 5.9 million. These individuals, who would have  preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In September, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 553,000 discouraged workers in September, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

US Jobless Rate at 5-Month High of 5% in September

BLS | Yekaterina Guchshina |
10/7/2016 12:50:36 PM