(CNSNews.com) – Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are long gone, and despite dire predictions, they did not dampen the September jobs report in most key areas.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday said the labor force participation rate of 63.1 percent reached a high for the year in September, up two-tenths of a point from August.
The number of employed Americans reached 154,345,000 in September, setting a sixth record since January. As the number of employed Americans reached an all-time high, the number of unemployed Americans in September -- 6,801,000 -- hasn't been this low since May 2007.
The already low unemployment rate dropped another two-tenths of a point to 4.2 percent last month. That is the lowest since early 2001.
BLS noted that the recent hurricanes had "no discernible effect on the national unemployment rate."
The number of Americans not in the labor force declined a bit in September to 94,417,000. The record, set in the final full month of the Obama presidency, stands at 95,102,000 Americans not in the labor force.
On the negative side, BLS said no new jobs were added in September: In fact, BLS counts a job loss of 33,000, and it blamed the net effect of the two hurricanes for the negative jobs-added number.
BLS noted that a “steep” employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing.
BLS said job gains have averaged 91,000 over the past three months.
And wages are going up: In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents to $26.55. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents, or 2.9 percent,, BLS said.
In September, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 255,562,000. Of those, 161,146,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 161,146,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 63.1 percent of the 255,562,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.
Ahead of Friday’s report, President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday: “Stock Market hits an ALL-TIME high! Unemployment lowest in 16 years! Business and manufacturing enthusiasm at highest level in decades!”
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.9 percent) and Blacks (7.0 percent) declined in September. The jobless rates for adult women (3.9 percent), teenagers (12.9 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), Asians (3.7 percent), and Hispanics (5.1 percent) showed little change.