Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta on the September Jobs Report

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued the following statement on the September 2017 Employment Situation report:

“Even as parts of our nation recover from multiple devastating hurricanes, September’s jobs report reflects the resilience of the American economy.

“The bottom line is this: 154.35 million Americans are employed compared to 153.44 million the previous month, an increase of 906,000.  The number of paychecks earned for the week of September 10th through 16th declined by 33,000, largely reflecting Irma’s devastating landfall on September 10th.  The difference in these two numbers is that more Americans are employed, yet many missed a paycheck in September.  These Americans are counted as employed for purposes of the employment survey but not for purposes of the jobs (payroll) survey.  Thus, while more individuals are employed—which is why the unemployment rate decreased—33,000 fewer individuals received a paycheck for the survey period.

“The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent, the lowest since February 2001.  This is the first month that the unemployment rate for women, presently at 3.9 percent, has been below 4 percent since June 2007.  The labor force participation rate increased 0.2 percentage point to 63.1 percent.  In short, more Americans are working both as a percent of our population and as an overall number.

“As parts of our nation recover from the recent hurricanes, the Department of Labor is working closely with states and territories to help them assess workforce needs so that Americans can return to work or find a new job.  Getting dislocated workers back on their feet is a top priority.

“I would like to thank the men and women of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for their outstanding work conducting these surveys under difficult circumstances.”

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Eric Holland

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