U.S. employers added 336,000 jobs in September. This is nearly double the job growth that analysts expected and shows that employers still have a high demand for labor. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%. Year-over-year wage growth fell slightly to 4.2%.
336,000: Employers added 336,000 jobs in September
3.8%: The unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8%.
4.2%: Wages grew 4.2% over the past year.
The best news in September’s jobs report is that the jobs added were spread across industries, according to the Wall Street Journal. Leisure and hospitality led with 96,000 new jobs as bars and restaurants finally reached pre-pandemic staffing levels. Education and health services also added a significant 70,000 new jobs, and all major jobs categories experienced growth. The report shows that hiring is not slowing, despite high interest rates and wage growth, the restarting of student loan payments and low unemployment.
The factors that make September’s report strong are the same ones that have analysts worried. In previous months, reports have suggested the Federal Reserve’s plan to slow hiring by raising interest rates was starting to work. The latest report tells an entirely different story. As the New York Times reports, Wall Street was wary of the blockbuster report because of the influence it could have on the Fed.
The latest report paints a more complicated picture for the Federal Reserve as they head into their next meeting. According to MarketWatch, this is the last report the Fed will see before that meeting, and it increases the likelihood that they will decide to raise rates again this year. The Fed has two more meeting scheduled in 2023—one on October 31 to November 1 and another December 12-13. Officials say they’re increasingly convinced that the U.S. can avoid the mass layoffs and high unemployment that typically go along with high interest rates.