Unemployment rate falls as more Georgians go back to work
According to a new report from the federal Department of Labor, the U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to a nearly four-year low, with nearly all industries reporting significant job gains. Specifically, the jobless rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest number since January 2009.
In previous months, economists warned that what appeared to be similarly-optimistic job reports were deceptive because they did not reflect the large number of people who had stopped looking for a job after some period of unemployment. That does not appear to be the case in the September report. Last month, the employment-to-population ratio, or the percentage of the working-age population that was employed, rose to its highest number since May 2010.
Further, previous concerns about people settling for low-paying, part-time work instead of finding full-time, high-paying jobs, also seem to have diminished in the most recent report. Last month, the length of the average work week increased slightly, and average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents.
The September job gains came in battered industries such as construction, which added 5,000 jobs, and government, which reported an increase of 10,000 jobs. Other industries that saw increases were transportation and warehousing, financial services, education and health. However, the number of manufacturing jobs fell by 16,000, marking a second straight month of decreases.
The news was not all good, however: the number of temporary help jobs fell by 2,000. Because these jobs are viewed as a sort of predictor of future permanent hiring, some economists are troubled by the decline.
Source: Reuters, “U.S. jobless rate tumbles to near four-year low,” Lucia Mutikani, Oct. 5, 2012
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