Unemployment drops to a 44-month low of 7.8 percent in September
By Lee Hecht Harrison on October 9, 2012
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the September 2012 unemployment rate decreased to a 44-month low of 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August 2012. Over 114,000 non-farm jobs were added in September 2012 and the number of employed increased by 873,000. In addition, the average work week increased from 34.4 hours to 34.5 which is often a precursor to increased hiring. The average hourly pay rose 7 cents to $23.58.
Hiring rose in health care and transportation/warehousing:
- Healthcare and social assistance: Healthcare and social assistance employment continued to increase by adding +44,000 jobs over the month, with gains in ambulatory health care services 9+30,000) and hospitals (+8,000).
- Transportation and warehousing – Transportation and warehousing gained by +17,000 jobs in September with increases in transit and ground passenger transportation (+9,000) and in warehousing and storage (+4,000).
Over the past year, many occupations have registered significant decreases in unemployment: management, professional and related occupations (4.4 percent unemployment in September 2011; 3.9 percent in September 2012); service occupations (10 percent unemployment in September 2011 to 8.5 percent in September 2012); sales and related occupations (9.4 percent in September 2011 to 7.9 percent in September 2012); office and administrative support occupations (8.7 percent in September 2011 to 7.2 percent in September 2012).
Monthly unemployment figures by race and/or ethnicity decreased across the board: African Americans posted an overall unemployment rate of 13.4 percent, down from 14.1 percent in August 2012; Asians had an overall jobless rate of 4.8 percent in September 2012, down from 5.9 percent in August; Hispanics registered an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent in September 2012, down from 10.2 percent a month earlier; and whites had an overall unemployment rate of 7.0 percent in September 2012, down from 7.2 percent in August.
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