Economic Snapshot: Unemployment holds at 5.1 percent

The  unemployment rate decline slowed a bit this month, remaining relatively unchanged at 5.1 percent.

Employment situation

Total nonfarm private employment increased by 142,000 in September and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent. The number of unemployed persons changed little at 7.9 million.

Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage points and 1.3 million, respectively.

The number of long-term unemployed persons was little changed at 2.1 million in September and accounted for 26.6 percent of the unemployed. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons declined by 447,000 to 6.0 million in September. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons declined by 1.0 million.

There were 1.9 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September, down by 305,000 from the previous year. Among the marginally attached, there were 635,000 discouraged workers, little changed from the previous year.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 56.9 percent in September, 2.1 percentage points lower than the August reading of 59.0. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slower rate. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 68th consecutive month.

The Business Activity Index decreased 3.7 percentage points to 60.2 percent, reflecting growth for the 74th consecutive month, albeit at a slower rate. The New Orders Index dropped 6.7 percentage points to 56.7 in September.

The Employment Index increased 2.3 percentage points to 58.3 and indicates growth for the 19th consecutive month.

The Prices Index declined 2.4 percentage points to 48.4 percent, indicating prices decreased in September for the first time since February 2015.

Thirteen of the 18 non-manufacturing indexes reported growth in September. Four industries reported contraction: Mining; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Retail Trade; and Other Services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *