September 2022 Employment Summary

  • On October 13, 2022

Labor Day weekend was a great way to start the month, allowing job seekers to have a moment’s rest before tackling new job opportunities for the month. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers with information and process hiring, but the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved.

The unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% in September, resulting in the number of unemployed persons edging down to 5.8 million. Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 173,000 to 1.2 million, and the number of persons on temporary layoff changed little at 758,000. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, saw little change and those who were long-term unemployed accounted for 18.5% of the unemployment rate. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons decreased by 306,000 to 3.8 million for the month. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at 5.8 million in September and remains above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force was little changed. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, increased by 119,000 to 485,000 in September. 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 for the month of September. Monthly job growth has averaged 420,000 thus far in 2022, compared with 562,000 per month in 2021. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality and in health care. Leisure and hospitality added 83,000 jobs, in line with the average monthly job gain over the first 8 months of the year. The industry’s employment in food services and drinking places, as well as health care, rose by 60,000 each. Over the month, ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals each added 28,000 jobs. Employment in professional and business services continued its upward trend in September (+46,000). Thus far in 2022, job growth in the industry has averaged 72,000 per month. Temporary help services continued to trend up (+27,000). Job gains were noticed in investigation and security services (+9,000) and in scientific research and development services (+5,000). Job losses occurred in business support services (-12,000), legal services (-5,000), and advertising and related services (-5,000). Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in September (+22,000), as well as job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), and electrical equipment and appliances (+3,000). Printing and related support activities lost 4,000 jobs over the month. Manufacturing has added an average of 36,000 jobs per month thus far in 2022.

In September, employment in construction continued to trend up (+19,000), in line with average monthly job growth in the first 8 months of this year. Specialty trade contractors added 18,000 jobs in September. Employment in wholesale trade continued its upward trend (+11,000), adding an average of 18,000 jobs per month thus far in 2022. Financial activities saw little change (-8,000), as declines in insurance carriers and related activities (-9,000) and nondepository credit intermediation (-7,000) were partially offset by a job gain in depository credit intermediation (+5,000). Transportation and warehousing were little changed as well (-8,000). A loss of 11,000 jobs in truck transportation was partially offset by a gain of 3,000 jobs in air transportation. Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, retail trade, information, other services, and government.

In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $32.46. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.0%. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $27.77. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours for the fourth month in a row. In manufacturing, the average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 40.3 hours, and overtime was held at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hours to 34.0 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 11,000, from +526,000 to +537,000, and the change for August remained at +315,000. After revision, employment gains in July and August combined were 11,000 higher than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.

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