Oct 6, 2017

U.S. economy sheds 33,000 jobs in September, reflecting hurricane damage

The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, compared with economist expectations of 75,000 new jobs and a 4.4% jobless rate.

Last month was the first in seven years when the U.S. economy lost jobs. It bled 52,000 jobs in September of 2010.

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
  • Economists widely blame the disruptive effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey for the disappointing number, because the survey methodology dictates that folks who didn't get paid on the pay period that included September 12th are not counted as employed.
  • But the report also revised down the two previous monthly estimates of job growth, suggested the slowdown is not all weather related.

Why the unemployment rate fell: The jobs report is actually a collection of two different surveys, one of businesses that gives us the number of job gains or losses, and a survey of households, from which the unemployment rate is devised. The household survey showed a huge increase in jobs, further bolstering the case that September's number are largely a hurricane-related fluke.

Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 145,000 jobs in final report of 2019

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, the government said on Friday, below economists’ expectations of 160,000. The unemployment rate held at 3.5% — a 50-year low — while wages grew 2.9% from a year earlier, the smallest gain since July 2018.

Why it matters: The U.S. job market held up in the final month of 2019, but heads into the election year with a slowing pace of job creation and wage growth.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

Growing divide between the two Americas

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Life in the U.S. is increasingly divided into two realities — one in which things have almost never been better and another in which it's hard to imagine them being worse.

Driving the news: Bankruptcies led more companies to announce job cuts last year than at any time in more than a decade, WSJ's Aisha Al-Muslim reports (subscription), citing data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

Women outpace men on U.S. payrolls

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: Men count was derived by subtracting women count from total; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

There are more women on American payrolls than men as of the latest U.S. jobs report.

Why it matters: The data reflects a hiring boom in industries that are female-dominated, while sectors that are more likely to employ men are lagging in job gains. The last time women overtook men in payrolls was “during a stretch between June 2009 and April 2010,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the milestone.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020