The U.S. labor market surged in September, by adding 336,000 jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. It’s the largest monthly employment gain since January and is significantly above August’s net gain of 227,000 jobs, which was revised up by 40,000 from initial estimates.
In September, leisure and hospitality helped drive job growth higher, with 96,000 jobs added. That’s above the pace of 61,000 jobs a month that this sector has seen during the past 12 months, according to the BLS report. Government jobs also saw a hefty boost, rising by 73,000.
The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8% in August, and the number of unemployed workers was essentially unchanged at 6.4 million.
Job growth may be generating plenty of heat, but wages are cooling off. Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% in September, bringing the annual gain to 4.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report released Friday.
September’s wage growth is the lowest seen monthly since February 2022 and year-over-year since June 2021, noted Andrew Patterson, Vanguard senior economist.