The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September.
In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million.
Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to 58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In September, employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing.
Health care added 44,000 jobs in September. Employment increased by 17,000 in transportation and warehousing. Employment in financial activities edged up 13,000. Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +141,000 to +181,000, and the change for August was revised from +96,000 to +142,000.