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US Economy Q3 Report

by Seth Gellman

Photo: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The third-quarter report for the state of the United States economy has come out, and with that comes new speculation about how the economy is doing in addition to possible warning signs of what is to come. The report, which was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, October 4th, showed that unemployment has decreased, and total nonfarm payroll employment has increased by 136,000, among others.

The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percent to 3.5 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was so low was in December 1969, when the unemployment rate was at 3.5 percent. Throughout September, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.8 million. Among the unemployed, the number of people who lost jobs and completed temporary jobs decreased by 304,000 to 2.6 million in September. The number of unemployed people who have never previously worked increased by 103,000 to 677,000. 

The jobless rate for adult women are slightly lower than the jobless rate for adult men, at 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent, respectively. Teenagers, on the other hand, have a much higher unemployment rate at 12.5 percent. The jobless rate for Blacks and Hispanics are 5.5 and 3.9 percent, respectively. Asians had the lowest jobless rate at 2.5 percent. These figures have had very little to no change over the last month.

People who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more are considered long-term unemployed people. The number of long-term unemployed people has remained stagnant at 1.3 million, which accounts for 22.7 percent of the unemployed.

Job growth has increased by 161,000 per month on average so far in 2019. The average monthly gain in 2018 was 223,000. A trend of increased employment in health care and in professional and business services occurred during the month of September. In the month of September, 39,000 jobs were added to healthcare, 34,000 jobs added in professional and business services, and employment in government increased by 22,000 jobs. 

In September, the average workweek for people on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.4 hours per week, while the average workweek for those in manufacturing was 40.5 hours per week. The average earnings for people on private nonfarm payrolls was $28.01/hour. Job gains have averaged 157,000 per month over the last three months.

The unemployment rate has declined, average hourly earnings for people on private nonfarm payrolls were changed very little, and many people who have not had jobs for a long period of time are joining the workforce. The jobs report will be released on November 1, and it will be interesting to see what changes are to come.

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