Amid signs that the global economy is slowing, American hiring nonetheless remains strong.
In September, American employers added 136,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, which is the lowest rate since December 1969.
Although the pace of hiring has slowed considerably since last year, this most recent report from the Labor Department showed some encouraging signs: Both July and August’s jobs reports were revised higher by tens of thousands of jobs. Hispanic unemployment fell to 3.9%, setting a record low, while black unemployment remained at a record-low 5.5% Minority unemployment has been tracked by the Labor Department since the early 1970’s.
The nation’s underemployment rate, which looks at people who are unemployed as well as those who are working part time but would prefer full time work, fell to 6.9%. That’s the lowest reading for that measure since December 2000.
The number of discouraged workers also fell was down to by more than 100,000 in September. That group includes people who are not in the labor force because they had stopped looking for work.
The unemployment rate for adults with less than a high school education fell to 4.8%, the first time that measure has ever been below 5% on data dating back to 1992.
The economy benefited from 1,000 new positions from the US Census.
However, the massive GM strike, in which about 50,000 people joined picket lines, was not counted in this month’s report.
Also, wage growth stagnated. Paychecks grew by just 2.9% over the past year, which was lower than expected.