Labor Growth in September Slows
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported job gains of 136,000 for the month of September, coming in short of the 147,000 jobs that had been projected. Slowing wage and payroll growth made for a concerning mixture.
Nick Bunker, an economist, said that the lower unemployment rate was a good sign but that other economic indicators complicated the overall outlook. One peice of information he focused on was that wage growth slowed from 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent in September.
“You would expect wage growth to be much stronger given this unemployment rate,” he said.
“There’s just been a large pool of people out there who are available to be employed without raising wages, but that just can’t keep going on,” Kruse said. “We’re hitting the point where we’re going to have to see wage growth, or employers aren’t going to find workers they need.”
“Those two trends are a sign that [the] labor market is slowing down,” he said. “Not because we’re hitting full employment, but rather this is a slowdown for employers and a slackening in economic growth.”
September was the worst month for U.S. manufacturing since June 2009, according to a closely watched industry index. And concerns have grown that the manufacturing contraction could spill over into other industries.
The labor-force participation rate remained steady at 63.2 percent, a number that is below historic averages and pre-recession levels. The US economy has added 1.45 million jobs, putting “on track to be the worst year for domestic job creation since 2010.”