US economy adds 263,000 jobs in September

Unemployment Benefits (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Unemployment Benefits (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The US economy added 263,000 jobs in September, dropping the unemployment rate to 3.5 per cent in the last Bureau of Labour Statistics monthly jobs report before the midterm elections.

Estimates had predicted that the September report would show just a quarter-million jobs added over the last month, making the reported number a better than expected showing and positive news for the Biden administration ahead of the crucial November election.

The BLS report also noted that the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans dropped to 3.8 per cent last month, while white, Black and Asian American unemployment rates showed “little change” from the previous month, coming in at 3.1 per cent, 5.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

The positive job gains last month could be a signal that recent increases in interest rates by the Federal Reserve have not caused business to slow hiring, particularly in two sectors the BLS said represented the most gains: leisure and hospitality, and health care.

In a sign that employers may be rescinding pandemic-era remote work programmes instituted to stem the spread of Covid-19, the Labour Department said the number of Americans teleworking because of the coronavirus had dropped to 5.2 per cent from 6.5 per cent the previous month. That’s a nearly 30 per cent decline from May 2020, the first month Americans were surveyed on telework habits, when 35.4 per cent of respondents said they were working from home on account of the coronavirus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the September jobs report offered “further proof that America remains on a path of strong, sustainable job growth” and credited “Democrats’ robust economic agenda” with the economic progress.

Ms Pelosi warned that a GOP majority would seek to repeal the Biden-era laws that have driven the robust job gains.

“ At every turn, Republicans overwhelmingly opposed these laws – and the historic job creation they have sparked. At the same time, while Democrats are lowering kitchen table costs for families with our Inflation Reduction Act, House Republicans have put forth an extreme MAGA agenda that would raise prescription drug prices, slash Social Security and Medicare, and diminish our economy,” she said.