The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers added 263,000 jobs in September, marking nine months of consecutive payroll expansion in the U.S. economy since the start of 2022. September’s gains were in line with many analysts’ expectations.

The latest jobs report also notes that new job creation in July and August was slightly higher than previously reported — by 11,000 positions. With these adjustments, the U.S. economy has seen employment rise by about 3.3 million jobs so far this year.

Education and health services led job growth in September

Employers in education and health services expanded payrolls by 90,000 jobs last month, the BLS reports. Leisure and hospitality also saw significant job gains last month, with employers in that industry adding 83,000 positions.

The professional and business services sector was a significant contributor to September’s job growth, as well, adding 46,000 jobs. That number includes 27,200 temporary help services roles.

According to the September jobs report, these industries also expanded payrolls last month:

  • Manufacturing: 22,000 jobs added
  • Construction: 19,000 jobs added
  • Information: 13,000 jobs added
  • Wholesale trade: 11,300 jobs added

Some industries experienced notable payroll contraction in September, according to the BLS, including government (-25,000), financial activities (-8,000), and transportation and warehousing (-7,900).

Unemployment rate slides to 3.5%

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in September, down from 3.7% in August. Most analysts had projected that the rate would remain unchanged.

The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older — those most highly sought-after by employers — decreased slightly to 1.8%. In August, the rate was 1.9%.

Other BLS data helps underscore the challenge many employers face in hiring skilled workers. There were 10.1 million job openings in the United States at the end of August. Also, 4.2 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily that month — the same figure the BLS reported for June and July.

Percentage of employed persons working remotely falls to 5.2%

The BLS reports that 5.2% of employed persons teleworked in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic — down from 6.5% in August. The agency 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.

Number of people unable to work due to the pandemic drops to 1.4 million

Household survey supplemental data provided in the latest jobs report shows that the number of people unable to work at all, or who worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the latest survey due to the pandemic, was 1.4 million in September. In August, that figure was 1.9 million.

The BLS also reports that among the persons not in the labor force last month, 452,000 were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. That’s down from 523,000 in August.

Learn more about today’s hiring environment

Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report presents up-to-date data on hiring trends and in-demand roles for several industries, including healthcare, technology, legal, and marketing and creative. In our current issue, you can discover what retention strategies employers are using to retain talent, get insight into employers’ hiring plans through the end of this year, and drill down on local hiring and remote job trends in the United States.

View the Demand for Skilled Talent report for free on our website.