By Kellie Lail

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its September 2022 Report, so let’s take a look at how employment fared over the last month.

*Important Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the September Employment Survey was completed before Hurricane Ian and that the hurricane had no effect on September’s state of employment.*

The great news: In September, employment rose by 263,000 with the unemployment rate returning to its July level of only 3.5%. In September, leisure and hospitality and health care garnered the largest share of new jobs. Among the major worker groups, unemployment for Hispanics decreased to 3.8%, after rising to 4.5% in August. In September, 5.2% of people teleworked as a result of the pandemic compared to 6.5% in August and a whopping 35.4% in May of 2020. In September, average hourly wages rose by another 10 cents or 0.3%, while private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees’ hourly earnings also rose by 10 cents or 0.4%.

The good news: The number of unemployed persons decreased to 5.8 million people in September. The number of permanent job losers decreased in September to 1.2 million people, a decrease of 173,000 while the number of temporarily unemployed remained relatively steady at 758,000 along with long-term unemployed at 1.1 million, accounting for 18.5% of unemployed persons. The number of people who were not currently in the job force and do not want a job was little changed in September, coming in at 5.8 million people compared to the February 2020 pre-pandemic low of 5.0 million people. Because they were not actively looking for work in the 4 weeks leading up to the surveys, these people are not counted as unemployed. 1.4 million people reported in September that they could not work because of a loss of business or the closure of their employer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a decrease from 1.9 million persons in September and 49.8 million in May of 2020. Monthly job growth has averaged 420,000 per month in 2022, compared to job growth averaging 562,000 in 2021.

The bad news: In September, the unemployment rates for adult men, adult women, teenagers, Whites, Blacks, and Asians showed little change from August. The number of people who had looked for work in the past 12 months and wanted a job, but were not actively searching for employment in the 4 weeks leading up to the survey was relatively unchanged from August at 1.6 million. The number of discouraged workers who believed there were no jobs available to them increased to 485,000 by 119,000 persons in September. 452,000 people reported that they were unable to look for work as a result of the pandemic, not showing any significant change compared to August 2022. 9.7 million people were prevented from looking for work as a result of the pandemic in May 2020.

Keep in mind: Inflation continues to rise along with the cost of living. With the rise of hourly wages paced behind the rate of inflation, being a competitive employer continues to be more important than ever. To attract the best candidates that are looking to work in your industry, you must show them that you are the most competitive employer in terms of salary, benefits, career stability, remote or flexibility options. and career growth opportunities.

Key Takeaways: Unemployment rates decreased in September to meet the July 2022 rates and the job market continues to grow in competition. Telecommuting or remote work remains popular in the current job market, with 5.2% of workers telecommuting in September because of the coronavirus pandemic, showing only a slight decrease from the previous month. Many demographics such as people reporting they were prevented from looking for work and discouraged workers who believed no jobs were available for them have increased over the past month.

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