September job gains outpaced forecasts, driven by strong numbers in the professional services sector.
In total, employers added 248,000 jobs in September after disappointing August numbers, according to Labor Department data released Friday. The unemployment rate last month dropped to 5.9 percent.
Still, job gains in August were revised from 142,000 to 180,000, USA Today reported. July hiring figures were adjusted as well, from 212,000 jobs added to 243,000. The strong September employment trends were fueled by professional services hiring, in addition to jobs added in the retail and health care sectors.
Specifically, the financial services industry had yet another month of growth in September, the Labor Department data stated. Last month, financial firms added 12,000 jobs – including 6,000 for insurance carriers and related companies and 5,000 in investor jobs, commodity contracts and securities.
August also came with an increase in financial services hiring, September U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data stated. Financial employment in August increased 0.09 percent with the addition of 7,000 jobs. In July, hiring increased 0.13 percent over the previous month.
Financial jobs in August totaled 7,963,000, the publication noted. Like September, much of the growth occurred amongst insurance carriers and similar firms during August.
Companies in the finance industry have added 89,000 jobs total this year, the most recent Labor Department data said.
Thus far this year, monthly job gains have averaged 227,000, according to USA Today. In 2013, hiring averaged 194,000 jobs added per month. Despite this, wages have been slow to pick up, although experts agree that this could begin happening later in the year. Other indicators point toward positive labor market trends. For example, the average work week rose from 34.5 hours to 34.6, a change which could indicate robust hiring in the future.