BREAKING NEWS Gov. Holcomb: Indiana to move to stage five of 'Back on Track' plan Full Story

Unemployment rate falls to 49-year low

The last time the American job market was this strong, astronauts were still going to the moon.The un...

Posted: Oct 6, 2018 3:30 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2018 3:30 PM

The last time the American job market was this strong, astronauts were still going to the moon.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in September, the lowest level since December 1969.

Business, economy and trade

Economic indicators

Economy and economic indicators

Employment growth

Employment trends

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Labor and employment

Labor departments

Labor sector performance

Unemployment rates

Employment rates

Government organizations - US

US Department of Labor

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

Economic conditions

Economic growth

Accidents, disasters and safety

Hurricanes

Natural disasters

Severe weather

Tropical storms

Weather

Employment search

The US economy added 134,000 jobs last month, below expectations and the monthly average for the year. The Labor Department said Hurricane Florence may have impacted jobs results, with leisure and hospitality employment down slightly after trending upwards over the last several months.

The good news is the previous two months' gains were revised up by a combined 87,000 jobs, boosting the monthly average for the past year to a robust 211,400 jobs.

The historically low unemployment rate and relatively weak job growth number might indicate that employers are having an increasingly difficult time adding positions because of the availability of workers. Over the course of this year, recruiters have been more open to job candidates they may before have overlooked, such as those with criminal histories. The employment rate for people with disabilities has also jumped sharply over the past two months.

Wage growth, however, has not accelerated. Average hourly earnings rose 2.8% over the year, slightly above the average over the past year but down from last month's increase. Those numbers are not adjusted for inflation, which has been eating into wage gains over the past several months as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates in response to a strengthening economy.

Other measures of income have been more positive, such as real personal disposable income (which takes taxes into account) and the employment cost index (which incorporates the cost of benefits like healthcare).

Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of the employee review site Glassdoor, says the salaries people have been reporting through their platform show stronger growth than official measures indicate.

"It's still relatively slow, but it's building," Chamberlain says, expressing confidence that the Labor Department's hourly earnings measure will break the 3.0% threshold soon. "I'm not sure there's much slack left to wring out of this labor market."

Wall Street seems to agree. Bond yields spiked following the jobs report, with the benchmark 10-Year Treasury hitting 3.24% -- its highest level in more than seven years.

Investors are betting that there's no reason why the Fed won't raise interest rates again in December and several more times next year too. Stocks tumbled as a result. The Dow fell more than 200 points in mid-afternoon trading.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of the population that is either working or looking for work, has remained essentially unchanged for the past few months.

Professional and business services remained the economy's strongest sector, with a cumulative 560,000 jobs added over the past year. Health care and transportation and warehousing have also continued their strong gains, adding 26,000 and 24,000 jobs respectively in September.

Despite newly-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, manufacturing added another 18,000 jobs. The National Association of Manufacturers have attributed continued growth to regulatory rollbacks and tax cuts enacted last year, and their quarterly survey shows that 73.2% of their members report attracting a qualified workforce to be their top business challenge.

The retail sector shed 20,000 jobs, largely from garden and building material supply stores, after having showed relatively strong growth in the first half of the year.

West Lafayette
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 78°
Delphi
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 73°
Mainly Dry and Warmer Rest of the Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events