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BLS Jobs Report: 248,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment at 5.9 Percent

Thanks to an increase in hiring, the economy blew past analysts' predictions of 215,000 jobs added in September, according to this month's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, was at its lowest level since mid-2008.

Thanks to an increase in hiring, the economy blew past analysts’ predictions of 215,000 jobs added in September, according to this month’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, was at its lowest level since mid-2008.

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In addition, the Labor Department revised last month’s report upward from +142,000 jobs to +180,000 jobs, and July’s report upward from +212,000 to +243,000 jobs.

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“Finally we’ve got some balance back in the U.S. economy,” says Dr. Patricia Buckley, director for economic policy and analysis for Deloitte, to Forbes. Buckley points out that job increases are accelerating, and that the first nine months of the year show average gains of 227,000 jobs per month.

Professional and business services (+81,000 jobs), retail trade (+35,000 jobs), and healthcare (+23,000 jobs) led gains. Other industries that saw improvement were food services and drinking places (+20,000 jobs), information (+12,000 jobs), construction (+16,000 jobs), and financial activities (+12,000 jobs).

All is not good news, however: Hourly wages dropped by one cent to $24.53. The PayScale Index, which showed Q3 gains in earnings of 1.2 percent, predicts only a 0.3 percent increase for the fourth quarter.

“The labor market is clearly tightening but there’s still no wage pressures,” says economist Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors, in an interview with USA Today. “When do businesses start dealing with labor shortages by raising wages?”

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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