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National jobless rate holds at 3.8% for September


Health care adds jobs, but monthly growth rate slows.

usa unemployment rate magnifying glass: © Grispb - stock.adobe.com

© Grispb - stock.adobe.com

The national unemployment rate was steady at 3.8% in September, unchanged from August this year.

Health care employment grew by 40,900 jobs last month, lower than the average monthly gain of 53,000 over the prior 12 months, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the U.S. Department of Labor. Ambulatory health care services added 24,300 jobs, hospitals increase staff by 8,400, with nursing and residential care facilities growing by 8,200 jobs.

Physicians’ offices added 7,400 jobs in September; offices of other health practitioners grew by 3,700 positions, and dentists’ offices hired 2,600 additional workers, according to the September employment report. Outpatient care centers increased by 2,900 workers, home health services added 6,400 jobs, and other ambulatory health care services added 1,100 workers.

Month to month within the nursing and residential care facilities sector, skilled nursing care facilities hired 2,400 workers; another 3,600 began staffing residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities. There were 1,700 workers added for continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly.

Other sectors

Overall the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were unchanged month-to-month at 62.8% and 60.4%, respectively. The total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 336,000, the BLS report said.

Leisure and hospitality grew by 96,000 jobs, rising above the average monthly gain of 61,000 in the last 12 months. Food services and drinking places added 61,000 over the month, returning to the pre-pandemic level of February 2020. Accommodation employment continued its upward trend, adding 16,000 jobs, but remained below the February 2020 level by 217,000, or 10.3%.

Government employment grew by 73,000, more than the average monthly gain of 47,000 in the past year. In that sector, education added 29,000 jobs and local government grew by 27,000, although the sector remained below the pre-pandemic level of February 2020 by 9,000 jobs.

Professional, scientific and technical services added 29,000 jobs, slightly more than the average monthly gain of 27,000 jobs in the last year. Social assistance added 25,000 jobs last month, also slightly more than the average monthly gain of 23,000 in the last 12 months.

Transportation and warehousing grew by 9,000 jobs in truck transportation, following a monthly drop of 25,000 in August. Air transportation added 5,000 jobs last month, according to BLS.

Employment in the movie industry dropped by 7,000 and has declined by 45,000 since May, “reflecting the impact of labor disputes,” the BLS report said. The Writers Guild of America struck for 148 days this year before reaching a new work agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The strike made national news and disrupted some nationally broadcast television shows.

BLS reported the job figures changed little in September for other sectors, such as mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale and retail trades; and finance.

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