US unemployment rate falls to 7.2% in September, 148K jobs added

Written by Press Trust of India | Washington | Updated: Oct 23 2013, 03:29am hrs
US Unemployment RateThe US unemployment rate for women ticked down to 6.7 per cent in September. Reuters
The US unemployment rate in the month of September fell to 7.2 per cent, as 148,000 jobs were added to the economy, latest official figures said today.

However, US unemployment rate does not include figures of the government shutdown which lasted for more than a fortnight.

"Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.2 per cent," the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Employment increased in construction, wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing, it said.

Jobs data helped US stock markets rise with Dow Jones Industrial Average trading 55 points up at 2030 hours (IST). Earlier in the day, the BSE Sensex in India fell for the first time in three days and dropped 29 points before the release of US jobs data, which may indicate when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus programme.

"While job growth remained solid in September, there is no question that the focus of policy should be on how to achieve a faster pace of job growth by increasing certainty and investing in jobs, rather than the self-inflicted wounds of the past several weeks that increased uncertainty and inhibited job growth," said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, White House.

"Today's delayed report describes the economy more than a month ago. More recent indicators suggest the labor market worsened in the month of October," he said.

According to the report, private sector employment has risen for 43 consecutive months, with businesses adding a total of 7.6 million jobs over that period.

"Weekly employment indicators not in today's report suggest that the labor market situation deteriorated in early October, coinciding with the shutdown and the threat of a possible default," Furman said.

Local government educational services employment rose by 9,500 in September and is up 56,400 over the last three months - but remains well below pre-crisis levels, he said.

"The US unemployment rate for women ticked down to 6.7 per cent in September, the lowest since December 2008 but still above pre-crisis rates," he added.

Furman said over the 12 months ending September 2013, total non-farm payroll employment rose by 2.2 million, similar to the gain in the year-earlier period.

"While the month-to-month figures can be volatile, the year-over-year changes indicate that the recovery has been durable in the face of several headwinds that have emerged in recent years," he said.

"The separate household survey is more volatile month-to-month, but over a longer period, it tells the same story. When adjusted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be comparable to the concept of employment used in the payroll measure, household employment has risen by 1.9 million over the twelve months ending September 2013," said the White House official.