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September Employment Report

  • First, it is important to note that there are 2 different surveys that are taken during a reference week within the month:
  • Establishment: This is the Nonfarm Payrolls and wages increase/decrease, which is a sample of businesses and provides the headline number of net jobs added or lost. The number is revised twice in the two successive months as the original number is a smaller sample of businesses.
  • Household: This survey is used to determine the unemployment rate and labor force participation, among other things. There are jobs added and lost within the data released but they don’t usually make the headlines like the nonfarm payrolls.
  • The two surveys often convey the same trend, but not always, since the Household one includes self-employed and farm. Also, the Nonfarm Payrolls does not count those who had a job but did not work and were not paid due to the hurricanes, whereas the Household survey does count people as employed even if they did not work and were not paid due to weather.
Highlights for September Employment Report
  • Nonfarm Payrolls: -33,000 attributed to 1.5 million unable to go to work due to the hurricanes. This would be expected to rebound in October. Net revisions to previous months were down.
  • Household: Unemployment down to 4.2% and labor force participation rate up. In other words, the rate dropped for the right reasons, not because people gave up looking.
  • Average Hourly Wages (based on Establishment Survey): This was up significantly (2.9% Year over Year). On the one hand this would imply that the inflation is returning and the Fed should go ahead and raise interest rates in December. On the other hand, over 100,000 low-wage restaurant and hospitality employees did not work due to the hurricanes, thus skewing the wage average upward for those who were counted.
Links for September Employment Report


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