Job growth bounced back in September after a disappointing August, with the U.S. economy creating 248,000 fresh positions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent as the labor force participation rate fell to 62.7 percent, its lowest level since February 1978. Taken together, though, the numbers renewed hopes that employment growth is on a sustainable track higher.
In premarket U.S. trading after the report, Wall Street traded sharply higher.
August’s meager 142,000 reading was revised up to 180,000, while the July number came up from 212,000 to 243,000.
The bounce in employment provided good news for the workforce in terms of total jobs, but wages remained stagnant. The average hourly wage actually fell one cent to $24.53, while the average work week edged higher to 34.6 hours.
Professional and business services added the most positions, with 81,000, while retail rose 35,000.
The job creation was tilted heavily towards full-time positions, which surged by 671,000. Part-time jobs actually fell by 384,000.
In recent history, September has been a below-trend month when it comes to employment growth.
In 2012, the month posted 161,000 new jobs at a time when the average had been 161,000, while 2013 saw a 164,000 count as the average had been 197,000, according to Deutsche Bank.
Economists had kept their hopes in check for the month, with an anticipation of 215,000 in a year when the average was just slightly lower at 212,000.
The unemployment rate was not expected to change. However,that headline number has been dismissed somewhat as it has been depressed by a shrinking labor force participation rate, which remains around 35-year lows. The BLS does not include those no longer looking for jobs in its headline rate.