- The civilian labor force declined by a whopping 571,000 to September from August.
- Employment declined even more, by 785,000.
- Unemployment increased by 214,000.
- Total nonfarm payroll jobs lost increased by 62,000 to 263,000.
- The number of people of employment age not in the labor force increased by 807,000.
- The official unemployment rate, or U-3, increased to 9.8% from 9.7%.
- The average private work week declined to tie a record low of 33 hours in September, equaling June.
- Average weekly earnings were essentially unchanged to September from August and up slightly (up 0.5%) from the average for May, June and July.
- Total nonfarm payrolls declined by only 37,000 from the July level and 60,000 from the average for May, June and July -- a second derivative improvement.
Shrinking Labor ForceJust two weeks ago, I reviewed the shrinking labor force in an article for TheStreet.com. The size of the problem has doubled the recent previous decline, with a September loss in the civilian labor force of more than half a million. This is an historic decline, reflected in the following graph, with more than 1 million people disappearing from the labor force in just four months.