U.S. Economy: 148,000 September Jobs

Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.2%

Jobs ReportThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a delayed jobs report this morning showing the U.S. economy added 148,000 in September – lower than most forecasts. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 7.2%, largely because the labor-force participation rate remained at its lowest level in three decades.

The bulk of the jobs were created by the professional and business services sector, which added 32,000 positions. The transportation and warehousing industry increased jobs by 23,000, and construction companies added 20,000 positions. However, the leisure and hospitality sector – a recent strong spot for gains – surprisingly lost 7,000 jobs last month.

There were multiple revisions for prior months as well, as the BLS report showed the economy added just 89,000 jobs in July (revised down from 104,000), while August's jobs count was revised higher, up from 169,000 to 193,000. Wages were mostly unchanged for September, with average hourly earnings up just three cents to $24.09, while the average workweek remained at 34.5 hours.

According to a consensus of analysts, it now appears unlikely the Federal Reserve will reduce its monthly $85 billion in asset purchases until 2014, after Janet Yellen takes the helm of the Fed from current chairman Ben Bernanke.