So, another day, another government report, another drama, right?
The Labor Department’s highly anticipated jobs report for September is out, and it’s somewhat revealing.
Private-sector job growth fell short of analysts’ expectations as efforts by the Federal Reserve to slow inflation appear to be taking their toll on hiring.
The government report shows that nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 for the month, compared to one consensus estimate of 275,000.
The DOL says the headline U-3 unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.5% – as the labor force participation rate edged slightly lower to 62.3% (1.1 percentage points lower than the pandemic’s start).
But the U-6 rate, which includes discouraged (longer-term) job hunters and those working part-time who’d like full-time jobs, was almost double the headline rate at 6.7% (down from 7.0% in August).
And John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics (SGS) believes the rate is actually closer to 25%.
The seasonally-adjusted SGS rate “reflects current [government] unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994…” That estimate is then added to the BLS’ U-6 estimate.
Jeff Cox reports, “September’s payroll figure marked a deceleration from the 315,000 gain in August and tied for the lowest monthly increase since April 2021.”
Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% on the month and 5.0% from a year ago to $32.46 an hour – an increase that’s still well above the pre-pandemic level (for example, it was 3.0% annually in February 2020).