The September jobs report is in and it looks like the myth of a September economic slowdown held true. The forecast for the September jobs report estimated 172,000 jobs added but only 156,000 non-farm payrolls were reported this September, missing the mark by over 15,000. Thus far, the average increase of jobs added per month in 2016 has been 178,000.
August numbers were revised up from 151,000 to 167,000 jobs, but changes to the July jobs report were a loss of 23,000 jobs. In total, there were 7,000 less jobs added in the past two months than previously reported.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 5% from 4.9% previously but was concluded to be a result of more people looking for work. Although it may not seem like good news at first glance, the unemployment rate and labor participation rate actually indicate a strong and healthy economy. This past month, the labor force participation rate rose 0.1% to 62.9%. The labor pool has also steadily increased by 1.9% since September 2015, making it the largest annual increase since 2007.
The financial activities sector stayed steady, with little changes in jobs added over the past month. Professional and business services employment rose by 67,000 in September, responsible for over 40% of the jobs added to the economy. Hiring activity from the professional and business services sector has remained strong with employers actively seeking talent ahead of the last quarter.