Healthcare job growth continues; hospitals add 12K positions in September

Daniel Fowler
October 7, 2018

Despite the added jobs, the unemployment rate was up 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 per cent, with 1,300 more working-age people unemployed than a year ago in September. The unemployment rate for college grads fell by just 0.1 percentage points.

In both the US and Canada in September, there was shrinkage in the unemployment rate.

Not all of the news in the household survey was positive.

Walser Wealth Management CEO Rebecca Walser on the impact of the Federal Reserve policy on the economy and investors' portfolios and the outlook for the job market. This is the longest period of job growth in history. Unemployment rates for women (down 0.1), Hispanics (up 0.1), Asians (down 0.1) and African-Americans (down 0.3) showed mixed changes.

Warne is not concerned about the lower-than-expected number of jobs created in September, noting revisions within the past two months, which in total put the number of jobs created, in line with expectations. S&P Global economist Satyam Panday noted that the three-month average for job gains was 190,000, slightly below the rate of 201,000 over the past year.

Manufacturing jobs up 18,000 in September and up 278,000 over the past 12 months.

Job gains were noted in healthcare, up 26,000, transportation and warehousing, up 24,000, and construction, up 23,000.

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Employees temporarily left unable to work during natural disasters can be left off the government's monthly jobs survey, especially part time workers who receive no pay during the week of the survey, meaning figures can rebound in the month after a storm.

And many analysts see the unemployment rate continuing to decline this year, ramping up pressure on wages and prices.

As for USA sectors where jobs prospects dimmed, "retail" (-20,000) had the worst record in September, followed by "leisure and hospitality" (-17,000).

Average hourly earnings are forecast to have risen 0.3% month-on-month and 2.8% year-on-year. Construction workers fared a bit better at +2.8% hourly and +3.6% weekly.

Industries that saw increases over previous year include education (4,900), food services (2,800) and agriculture (2,500).

As usual, the focus will be on wages - but even more so this time.

On the whole, this is a healthy report with some notable anomalies, like the fall in the percentage of unemployment due to quits and the drop in hours.

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