A Complete Snapshot of Today's Jobs Report in 2 Charts

By Ritchie King

The US economy added 114,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8%. Here's the breakdown of employment status for all Americans age 16 and above:

Here's what job creation and loss looked like in various industries last month:

Some additional data that caught our eye:

  • Labor force participation rate -- the share of people looking for work or working -- was little changed at 63.6%.
  • Temp workers -- considered a forward looking gauge on the jobs market, because companies tend to hire temps before staffing up permanently -- lost 2,000 jobs. There has been growing concern that companies are starting to brace for any potential negative impact of the fiscal cliff after the election.
  • The last time the unemployment rate was at 7.8% was back when President Obama was inaugurated.
  • Part-time workers -- those looking for or who previously had full-time work -- rose by 600,000.
  • The number of discouraged workers dropped by 235,000.
  • One sign that the prolonged weakness in the economy has had a deep impact on people. Long-term unemployed -- those jobless for 27 weeks or more -- was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1% percent of the unemployed. This is a big concern for economists who worry that over time large chunks of potential workers will see their skills atrophy and become less and less likely to return to work.
  • Maybe this is why consumer sentiment has been moving slightly higher lately: In September, ¬†average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $19.81. There hasn't been a jump that size since the 7 cent increase seen in July last year.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/a-complete-snapshot-of-todays-jobs-report-in-2-charts/263295/