The BLS job reports for last month were just released! We’ll share our take on the data and what it means for you and your company.

Relevant Data Points:

  • New Jobs – The U.S. added 263,000 jobs in September (see graph below).
  • Unemployment fell to 3.5% (down from 3.7% the previous month).
  • Wages rose .3%, matching the prior month’s gain.
    • Wages have climbed 5.2% in the year through August.
    • We’ve now had 2 months in a row of milder (though still strong) wage growth.
  • Job openings totaled 10.05 million, a 10% drop from the previous month and more than a million less than expected (see graph below).
    • Biggest one-month decline since April 2020 in the early days of the Covid pandemic.
  • Hires remained largely unchanged at 6.3 million.
  • Layoffs rose to 1.5 million from 1.4 million in July.
  • Quits rose by 100,000 for the month to 4.16 million.
  • Total separations jumped by 182,000 (see graph below).
  • Jobs per available worker contracted to 1.67:1 (drop from 2:1).
  • LFPR (labor force participation rate) edged lower to 62.3% (from 62.4%), and the size of the labor force decreased by 57,000 (see graph below).

What does this mean?

  • The data suggests the labor market is cooling. However, just because something is cooling, doesn’t mean it’s cold. The labor market seems to be cooling from extremely hot to moderately hot.
  • Despite the fifth month of decreases in job openings, vacancies remained above 10 million for the 14th straight month.
  • Layoffs continue to grab headlines, but the overall layoff rate is still quite low.
  • Even with the wage growth, markets widely expect the Fed to continue the pace of its rate hikes with another 0.75 percentage point increase in November.