The third quarter of 2022 has closed and according to the Monthly Employment Situation Summary, released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor market added 263,000 jobs in September. This is down from the 315,000 jobs added in the month of August and remains well below previous months. The economy continues to weaken but at a slower than expected rate, meaning the US is still headed toward a soft landing. Wednesday’s ADP Employment Report showed a gain 208,000 jobs in private payrolls, up slightly from August’s adjusted increase of 185,000.
Fears of a recession continue to loom, as shown by data released Wednesday from the BLS’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. According to the JOLTS report, job opening s in retail trade were down 143,000 in August. Retailers would normally begin to hire for seasonal workers as we head into the holiday season, by cuts within the sector showed employers are pulling back. It is unclear as inflation continues to plague Americans’ wallets, whether or not shoppers will indulge this holiday season. The report also showed that job openings decreased by 236,000 in healthcare and social assistance and quits decreased in professional and business services by 94,000. Data suggests more of the labor force is staying put as opportunities begin to decrease.
Despite other weaknesses, the economy shows signs of resilience. The service sector has remained strong, and the post-pandemic low unemployment rate dropped again to 3.5%. In an effort to relieve pressure on working and middle-class Americans, President Biden announced widespread student debt relief in late August. Borrowers must fill out an application for loan forgiveness, which is expected to be released later this month. Qualifying borrowers will be eligible for up to $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for those with loans held by the department of education. There are some further stipulations for who can receive the assistance, so get your questions answered here at: One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief (studentaid.gov). The program is expected to provide relief for 43 million Americans.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 35.4% of people were teleworking, and in September only 5.2% of employees reported working from home. Professional and business services added another 46,000 jobs continuing an upward trend for the industry. Manufacturing employment added 22,000, with motor vehicles and parts adding 8,000 jobs, fabricated metal products adding 6,000, and electrical equipment and appliances adding 3,000. The manufacturing sector as a whole has averaged 36,000 jobs added per month over the past 12 months. Construction added 19,000 jobs in September, and wholesale trade added 11,000. Employment in retail trade, information, government, and mining showed little change over the past month. Average hourly earnings rose by 10 cents for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls.