September Jobs Report Shows Cooling Labor Market Amid Recession Fears

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Unemployment dipped slightly and wages grew, but a drop in job openings and labor force participation show that the job market is cooling off.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its September jobs report Friday morning. Employers added 263,000 jobs in September, and unemployment fell from 3.7 percent to 3.5.


But the labor force participation rate also dipped slightly, falling to 62.3 percent in September from 62.4 percent the month prior. On top of that, the number of job openings also fell, dropping about 10 percent.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

“We are seeing labor demand cool,” said Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo. “But we have a long way to go towards restoring balance between supply and demand for labor.”

Job gains were led by the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 83,000 jobs. Healthcare employment rose 60,000.

The number of job openings fell 10% in August to a seasonally adjusted 10.1 million from 11.2 million the month before, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The 1.1 million drop in openings is the largest decline since the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. That left job openings at their lowest level in a year but still above their prepandemic level in 2019, when they averaged 7.2 million a month.

The news was not what investors wanted to hear, it seems. Stock futures dropped and the market will be opening lower after the report.


While demand and applications for manufacturing and logistics jobs are on the rise, the tech sector seems to really be struggling right now.

Peloton Interactive Inc., said Thursday it plans to cut about 500 jobs, roughly 12% of its remaining workforce, in the exercise equipment company’s fourth round of layoffs this year. Other companies, from Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. to Snap Inc. and Stanley Black & Decker Inc., are cutting jobs, while others including Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have said they would freeze or pull back on hiring.

At other businesses, demand for workers hasn’t eased. Laura Lee Blake, president and chief executive of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, said that filling positions is a top concern among the 20,000 owners in the group. Difficulty in hiring has led some hotel owners to implement self-check-in kiosks, but some roles, such as cleaning rooms, don’t have an automated solution.

“One member had their parents come out of retirement to help cover some of the shifts simply because they didn’t have enough staff,” Ms. Blake said. “I have not heard any discussions about layoffs. It’s more about how they’re so desperate to find people.”


The White House is celebrating today’s numbers, with the 263,000 new jobs beating economist expectations.


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