The September jobs report offered a mixed message to economic forecasters eager to see the impact of the Fed’s rate cuts on inflation and a potential recessionary threat.
This report continues a trend that was established in August of cooling growth in the economy. For months, economists have been warning that job growth will cool as rising inflation rates make employers less likely to borrow and expand. This month’s report seems to confirm those forecasts.
Key takeaways include:
- The labor market appears to be slowing down a bit, which economists claim is necessary to tamp down on inflationary fears
- The economy added 263,000 jobs in September
- Economists expect the Fed to continue to raise rates aggressively to counter inflation (the next rate decision is November 2)
- This mixed picture is having a major effect on the markets and upcoming midterm election in the United States
- Wages continue to climb, showing that the labor market remains relatively strong
More Gains in Leisure and Hospitality
A gain of 83,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector shows the continued strength of consumer spending in tourism and other travel. This growth was concentrated in the food services and drinking places, where jobs rose by 60,000 in September. Employment in leisure and hospitality is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 1.1 million, or 6.7 percent.
Health Care Rebounds
Employment in health care returned to its February 2020 level with an addition of 60,000 jobs. Over the month, ambulatory health care services and hospitals each added 28,000 jobs.
Professional Jobs Also See Gains
Professional and business services added 46,000 jobs in September, down a bit from an average gain of 72,000 jobs per month in 2022. Employment in temporary help services continued to trend up (+27,000) in September. Job gains occurred in investigation and security services (+9,000) and in scientific research and development services (+5,000). There were job losses in business support services (-12,000), legal services (-5,000), and advertising and related services (-5,000).
Gains in Manufacturing & Construction Hold Strong
Manufacturing employment continued to go up in September and added 22,000 jobs. Job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), and electrical equipment and appliances
(+3,000). Printing and related support activities lost 4,000 jobs over the month. Manufacturing has added an average of 36,000 jobs per month thus far in 2022.
In September, employment in construction continued to trend up (+19,000), in line with average monthly job growth in the first 8 months of this year. Specialty trade contractors added 18,000 jobs in September.
Employment in wholesale trade continued its upward trend in September (+11,000). Wholesale trade has added an average of 18,000 jobs per month thus far in 2022.
Catch Up With Previous Jobs Reports
- August’s cooling forecast
- Great job news in July
- Continued growth in June
- Strong growth in May
- Big month of growth in April
- March’s strong growth
- February’s blockbuster growth
- January’s strong growth despite Omicron
- Promising news for hospitality in December
- November’s mixed picture
- October’s robust gains
- A slower-than-expected report in September
- The summer‘s roaring recovery trajectory
- Better than expected growth in June, especially in travel
- Strong signs of recovery in May
- An anemic April jobs report