The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the U.S. economy saw employers expand payrolls by 194,000 jobs last month. While this figure marks the ninth consecutive month of job growth in the United States, it falls well below the 500,000 jobs that many analysts had projected for September.

The BLS also reported in its latest jobs report that employers added 169,000 more positions during July and August than previously reported. Overall employment in the United States has increased by about 5 million jobs since the beginning of 2021 — or about 557,000 positions per month, on average.

Unemployment rate drops to 4.8%

The national unemployment rate last month was 4.8%, down from 5.2% in August.

The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers also declined — edging down from 2.8% in August to 2.5% in September. These professionals are the most highly sought-after job candidates. September’s unemployment rate is the lowest this year for this group of workers.

Many in-demand roles have unemployment rates that are trending even lower, other BLS data show. Examples include web developers (1.8%), medical records specialists (1.4%), financial analysts (1.1%), and database administrators and architects (0.2%).

Leisure and hospitality led job growth in September

The BLS reports that employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 74,000 jobs last month. These industries also saw notable job gains in September:

  • Professional and business services: 60,000 jobs added
  • Retail trade: 56,100 jobs added
  • Transportation and warehousing: 47,300 jobs added
  • Information: 32,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing: 26,000 jobs added
  • Construction: 22,000 jobs added
  • Wholesale trade: 16,900 jobs added

Number of employed persons working remotely dips slightly

In September, 13.2% of employed persons worked remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 13.4% in the prior month. The BLS describes these workers as employed persons who worked away from the office for pay at some point in the last four weeks specifically because of the pandemic.

Stay on top of the latest hiring and employment trends

Check out the current issue of Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report to get insight on top positions for several industries including accounting and finance, technology, marketing and creative, and administrative and customer support. Learn about employers’ top hiring challenges, the strategies they’re using to overcome these hurdles, workers’ and employers’ preferences in the “anywhere working” environment, and more.

View the report now on the Robert Half website.