158,269,000: Record Number of Employed in September; 3.5% Unemployment Rate Best Since 1969

Susan Jones | October 4, 2019 | 8:52am EDT
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(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The work week is ending with some good news for President Donald Trump, as more  records were smashed in Friday's report on September unemployment.

For the 22nd time since Donald Trump took office, the number of employed Americans reached a record high last month, climbing 319,000 from August's record 157,878,000 to 158,269,000. At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans set a Trump-era low at 5,769,000.

Those two strong numbers pushed the nation's unemployment rate to 3.5 percent in September -- down two-tenths of a point from last month, and the lowest rate since December 1969.

President Trump hailed the good news on Twitter, with a twist:

"Breaking News," Trump wrote. "Unemployment Rate, at 3.5%, drops to a 50 YEAR LOW. Wow America, lets impeach your President (even though he did nothing wrong!)."

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 136,000 jobs in September, as employment in health care and in professional and business services continued to trend up. Employment in government also continued its upward trend in September, with 22,000 jobs added. On a negative note, manufacturing employment dropped in September, losing 2,000 jobs.

In September, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 259,638,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care hospital). Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,039,000 were in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month.

That produced a labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent, the same as it was in August, and a Trump-era high. The higher this number, the better.

Of the 164,039,000 who were in the labor force, 5,769,000 were unemployed, which put the unemployment rate at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics, 3.9 percent in September, has never been this low. The unemployment rate for blacks remained at the record low of 5.5 percent set in August.

Among the other major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 3.2 percent last month. For adult men, the jobless rate was 3.2 percent; adult women, 3.1 percent; teenagers, 12.5 percent; Asians, 2.5 percent.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from +159,000 to +166,000, and the change for August was revised up by 38,000 from +130,000 to +168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 more than previously reported. After revisions, job gains have averaged 157,000 per month over the last 3 months.

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls dropped one cent to $28.09, following an 11-cent rise in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.


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