The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the economy created 104,000 new seasonally adjusted private jobs in September. Governments at all levels added 10,000 new jobs, for a net gain of 114,000. The official unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent. That is the lowest unemployment rate since President Obama took office in January 2009.
Revisions changed previously reported growth in payroll employment in July from 141,000 to 181,000 and in August from 96,000 to 142,000. The government counted 12.1 million Americans as unemployed, a drop of 456,000 over August.
On Wednesday, TrimTabs Investment Research estimated that 210,000 new jobs had been created in September. The firm uses daily tax deposits to calculate the change in payrolls. Some believe its higher numbers are more accurate, arguing that BLS misses many of the small companies that produce most jobs. Also on Wednesday, the payroll services company Automated Data Processing reported an estimated 162,000 new private jobs had been added in September.
In the past 18 months, ADP has reported more jobs eight times and BLS had reported more jobs 10 times. The closest they've been in that period was 6,000 in October 2011; the farthest apart, 123,000 in June 2012.
ADP bases its report on the payrolls it processes for some 430,000 businesses covering about 24 million employees. [Methodology here.] BLS bases its report on its Current Employment Statistics survey of 410,000 worksites. [Methodology here.] (You can read more about the ADP survey in my recent post.)
The number of Americans unemployed for six months or more fell from 5.0 million to 4.8 million.
The civilian labor force participation ratio rose to 63.6 percent; the employment-population ratio rose from 58.3 to 58.7 percent.
The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of more than 400,000 business establishments called Current Employment Statistics, and one called the Current Population Survey, which questions 60,000 householders. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added, always calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis. The CPS provides data that determine the official "headline" unemployment rate, also known as "U3." That's the number which is now 7.8 percent.
The CPS showed that 418,000 Americans joined the civilian work force in September and there were 873,000 more Americans employed than the month before. The differences between the CES and CPS are often quite large, as is the case this month.
Here's what the job growth numbers have looked like for August in the most recent 10 years:
September 2003: + 109,000
September 2004: + 161,000
September 2005: + 66,000
September 2006: + 157,000
September 2007: + 73,000
September 2008: - 432,000
September 2009: - 199,000
September 2010: - 27,000
September 2011: + 202,000
September 2012: + 114,000
Among other changes in today's job report:
• Health care: +44,000
• Transportion and warehousing: + 17,000
• Manufacturing: -16,000
• The average workweek (for production and non-supervisory workers) rose to 34.5 hours.
• Average manufacturing hours rose to 40.6.
• The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose seven cents to $23.58.