The U.S. economy saw significant job gains in September, with employers expanding payrolls by 336,000 jobs. That figure far outpaces analysts’ forecasts of about 170,000 new jobs. The September jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also shows that employers added 119,000 more jobs than previously reported in July and August combined.
The national unemployment rate last month was 3.8%, according to the BLS. That figure is unchanged from August, and it’s the highest rate seen since February 2022. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for college-degreed professionals who are 25 or older — the workers most highly sought-after by many employers — edged down slightly to 2.1% in September. In August, the rate was 2.2%.
The BLS reports that the leisure and hospitality industry fueled payroll expansion last month with employers adding 96,000 positions. Government employers also experienced high job growth in September, adding 73,000 jobs. Employers in the private education and health services sector weren’t far behind, adding 70,000 jobs. These industries also saw payroll expansion in September, according to the BLS: Professional and business services: 21,000 jobs added Retail trade: 19,700 jobs added Manufacturing: 17,000 jobs added Wholesale trade: 11,700 jobs added Construction: 11,000 jobs added Transportation and warehousing: 8,600 jobs added Utilities: 4,800 jobs added
In its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the BLS reports that there were 9.6 million open roles in the United States on the last business day of August. That’s a sharp increase from the 8.8 million roles the agency reported in July. The JOLTS report also notes that 3.6 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily in August, up from 3.5 million the previous month. Recent research on U.S. hiring and employment trends from Robert Half adds dimension to the JOLTS data: We learned that 63% of managers want to recruit candidates for new roles. Meanwhile, 93% of employers are having challenges finding skilled professionals for hire. And, in a survey we conducted of U.S. workers, 25% of respondents said they are already actively seeking a new role, while 24% are planning to launch a job search by year-end. Explore more findings from Robert Half’s hiring and employment trends survey.
Robert Half’s 2024 Salary Guide is here! Get the latest information on hiring and compensation trends, featuring exclusive data and input from employers and workers, and from our recruiters who staff tens of thousands of jobs each year. Our free guide can be a valuable resource for you, whether you’re launching a new job search, actively hiring talent or developing a staffing strategy for your business. View the 2024 Salary Guide now
To learn more about what you’ll discover inside our latest Salary Guide, see this short video featuring Robert Half Operational President Dawn Fay. Watch video