The Census Bureau says that the economy added 248,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.9%.
The astonishing report recalls some of the pre-2012 election jobs reports.
Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade and health care.
The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for adult men (5.3%), whites (5.1%), and Hispanics (6.9%). The rates for adult women (5.5%), teenagers (20.0%), and blacks (11.0%) showed little change over the month.
The jobless rate for Asians was 4.3% (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 306,000 in September to 4.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.0 million in September. These individuals accounted for 31.9% of the unemployed.
The employment-population ratio was 59.0% for the fourth consecutive month.
In September, job growth occurred in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.
Professional and business services added 81,000 jobs in September, compared with an average gain of 56,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains occurred in employment services (+34,000), management and technical consulting services (+12,000), and architectural and engineering services (+6,000). Employment in legal services declined by 5,000 over the month. Employment in retail trade rose by 35,000 in September. Food and beverage stores added 20,000 jobs, largely reflecting the return of workers who had been off payrolls in August due to employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England.
In September, construction employment continued on an upward trend (+16,000). Within the industry, employment in residential building increased by 6,000. Over the year, construction has added 230,000 jobs. Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in September (+12,000) and has added 89,000 jobs over the year. In September, job growth occurred in insurance carriers and related activities (+6,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+5,000).
In September, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $24.53, changed little in September (-1 cent).
In what appears a nod to the mid-term elections, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +212,000 to +243,000, and the change for August was revised from +142,000 to +180,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 69,000 more than previously reported, with no good reason offered.