U.S. economy added 336,000 jobs in September

Dan Li |
Chief Financial Officer | Snagajob + PhD in Economics | Northwestern University

The U.S. economy added 336,000 jobs in September, far exceeding expectations, in its 33rd consecutive month of job gains. In an additional sign of growth in the economy, numbers were revised up for jobs added in July and August, for a combined 119,000 additional jobs.

The unemployment rate stayed steady in September at 3.8% and wage growth was also unchanged at 0.2%, continuing to bring the 12-month wage growth figure down slightly to 4.2%.

The largest monthly job gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality, government, and healthcare industries. Notably, employment in food and restaurants increased by 61,000 in September, bringing it back to pre-pandemic levels.

On Snagajob, job postings are up 3% month over month, with notable gains in the Warehouse (+20%) and Hotel & Hospitality (+5%) industries.

Here’s your roundup of key insights from the report:

  • New York Times: “The increase, almost double economists’ expectations, serves as a confirmation of the labor market’s vitality and the overall hardiness of an economy facing challenges from a variety of forces.”

  • Wall Street Journal: “The report suggests the economy gained momentum through the summer, fueled partly by brisk consumer spending.”

  • AP: “The economy has now added an average of 266,000 jobs a month for the past three months, a streak that could make it likelier that the Federal Reserve will raise its key rate again before year’s end as it continues its drive to tame inflation.”

  • Washington Post: “The September jobs report…had been expected to show continued moderation in the labor market — with forecasts of around 170,000 jobs created. Instead, it came in at nearly twice that amount.

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Hourly Jobs

All data is from 3/2/20-9/30/2023

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 74% from February 2020's pre-pandemic numbers, and they are up 3% month over month.

Here are the latest job numbers by industry and category:

Food & Restaurant jobs are down 31% compared to pre-pandemic norms, staying flat month-over-month, and seeing a 31% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are down 51% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 5% month-over-month increase, and a 50% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 195% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 17% month-over-month decline, and a 2% year-over-year growth.

Retail jobs are down 48% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 1% month-over-month drop, and a 63% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Logistics jobs are up 97% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 20% month-over-month increase, and with a 82% year-over-year decline.