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By: Beth Mace  |  October 07, 2022

263k New Jobs Created in September: Jobless Rate Fell to 50-Year Low

Economic Trends  |  Senior Housing  |  Workforce

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 263,000 in September 2022 and the unemployment rate fell back to its July level of 3.5%. The September increase was well below the year-to-date average of 420,000 and below the monthly average of 562,000 seen in 2021. The monthly gain paints an image of a still growing, but slowing, job market. Revisions added 11,000 positions to total payrolls in the previous two months.

Employment in health care rose by 60,000 in September and has now returned to its February 2020 level. Employment in nursing care facilities was up by 14,300 jobs from year-earlier levels and stood at 1,361,000.

2022 NIC Notes Blog Civilian Unemployment Rate September

In a separate survey conducted by the BLS, the jobless rate slipped back to 3.5% for September, down from 3.7% in August. The jobless rate is once again equal to its pre-pandemic level of 3.5% seen in February 2020, and well below the 14.7% peak seen in April 2020. At 3.5%, the jobless rate matches its 50-year low seen before the pandemic. Among the major worker groups, the September unemployment rates were 3.4% for adult women, adult men (3.3%), teenagers (11.0%), Whites (3.1%), Blacks (5.8%), and Asians (2.5%).

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.10 in September to $32.46. This was a gain of 5.0% from year-earlier levels, still high, but lower than in August (5.2%). Notably, on a three-month annualized basis, wages rose by a slower pace of 4.4%.

The labor force participation rate slipped back to 62.3% in September from 62.4% in August and was below the February 2020 level of 63.4%.

2022 NIC Notes Blog Employment by Industry September

Earlier this week, the BLS released its JOLTS report that showed the number of job openings fell 10% in August to a seasonally adjusted 10.1 million from 11.2 million in July. That left job openings at their lowest level in one year, but still well above their pre-pandemic level in 2019 when they averaged 7.2 million

These combined reports support the Federal Reserve’s intention of continuing to raise interest rates further following the 75-basis point hike in the federal funds rate in late September. Already, the Fed has increased interest rates five times this year to a current target range of 3% to 3.25%, its highest range since early 2008. Another two rate hikes are anticipated for 2022. Further, a majority of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members see the fed funds rate reaching a level of between 4.5% and 5.0% in 2023.

About Beth Mace

Beth Burnham Mace is the Chief Economist and Director of Outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Prior to joining the staff at NIC, she served as a member of the NIC Board of Directors for 7 years and chaired NIC’s Research Committee. Ms. Mace was also a Director at AEW Capital Management and worked in the AEW Research Group for 17 years. While at AEW, Ms. Mace provided primary research support to the organization’s core and value-added investment strategies and provided research-related underwriting in acquisition activity and asset and portfolio management decisions. Prior to joining AEW in 1997, Ms. Mace spent ten years at Standard & Poor’s DRI/McGraw-Hill as the Director of the Regional Information Service with responsibility for developing forecasts of economic, demographic, and industry indicators for 314 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. Prior to working at DRI, she spent three years as a Regional Economist at the Crocker Bank in San Francisco. Ms. Mace has also worked at the National Commission on Air Quality, the Brookings Institution and Boston Edison. Ms. Mace is a member of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE), ULI’s Senior Housing Council, the Urban Land Institute and New England Women in Real Estate (NEWIRE/CREW). In 2014, she was appointed a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and was awarded the title of a “Woman of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Forum Magazine and Globe Street. Ms. Mace is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A.) and the University of California (M.S.). She has also earned The Certified Business Economist™ (CBE), which is the certification in business economics and data analytics developed by NABE. The CBE documents a professional’s accomplishment, experience, abilities, and demonstrates mastery of the body of knowledge critical in the field of economics and data analytics.

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