WASHIGNTON, D.C., Oct. 7 (UPI) — The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday the jobless rate remained relatively unchanged in September as somewhat fewer jobs were created in the United States than had been predicted by economists.
Total nonfarm employment increased by 156,000 in September and the unemployment rate stayed at 5 percent, according to the report, with most new positions created in professional and business services and healthcare.
Economists had predicted between 170,000 and 176,000 new jobs during September, just below the average 178,000 per month created so far in 2016. The 2016 monthly average is significantly lower than the 229,000 per month created in 2015.
The overall number of people unemployed less than five weeks increased by 284,000 to 2.6 million during September, while the number of long-term unemployed stayed about the same at 2 million. Long-term unemployed people, or those without a job for 27 or more weeks, accounts for 24.9 percent of unemployed people in the United States.
The average workweek increased in September by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours per week and the average hourly wage increased by six cents to $24.79. Over the course of the year, average hourly wages have increased by 2.6 percent.
The BLS also revised new job numbers for the last two months in the new report, decreasing the number of new jobs in July from 275,000 to 252,000 and increasing the number of new jobs in August from 151,000 to 167,000. Combined, there were 7,000 fewer jobs created during the two months than previously reported. Even so, the new job average of the last three months outpaces the average for the year at 192,000 jobs per month.