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Jobs Report Shows Lowest Unemployment Rate Since 2009

by Matt Metzner, published
Credit: Department of Labor

National unemployment rate drops below 8% for the first time since January 2009

Americans received some good news this morning as the Department of Labor released its September jobs report showing an unemployment rate of 7.8%. For the past eight months the jobless rate has hovered between 8.1 and 8.3% before taking a 0.3 percent plunge in September.

The number of job losers or those completing temporary positions fell by 468,000 compared to last month, but still remained at 6.5 million people. The number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks dropped by 302,000 while the number of long-term unemployed remained approximately the same at 4.8 million.

The number of Americans who are part-time employed due to economic reasons rose by 600,000 in September. This number is sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers. Often these workers have had their regular employment hours cut down to part-time hours or they were unable to find full-time work.

The sectors with the most growth in the month of September were health care, transportation, and housing.

The health care industry added 44,000 jobs in September. 30,000 of these jobs were added in ambulatory health care services, with an additional 8,000 jobs being added in hospitals.

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 17,000. Transit and ground transportation saw an additional 9,000 jobs added and 4,000 jobs were added in warehousing.

The average work week for Americans is on the rise at 34.5 hours. Also the average employee hourly wage rose to $23.58 per hour, an increase of 7 cents from August.

Americans should be encouraged by the growth heading into the holidays and we will likely see more temporary and seasonal jobs added as shoppers start filling stores and malls after Thanksgiving. September 2012 marks the first month where the unemployment rate is below 8% since January 2009. Expect this job report to be a talking point in upcoming presidential debates and pieces as much of the news about the report has signaled this as welcome information for the Obama campaign.

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