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October 05, 2018

Unemployment in U.S. drops to lowest rate since 1969

State jobs reports will be released later this month

Economy Jobs
Carroll - A construction worker assembles a stage in hot weather for Wawa Welcome America Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A construction worker assembles part of the roof for the Wawa Welcome America stage at Eakins Oval in Center City Philadelphia on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Last month the jobless rate in the United States dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest the country has seen in nearly 50 years, since December 1969.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 134,000 jobs were added to the economy in September – short on the economic forecast of 180,000 new jobs – helping the overall unemployment rate fall .2 percentage points from August.

The bureau also showed that while wage growth slowed marginally, hourly earnings were up, on average, by 2.8 percent compared to this time last year.

The unemployment rate has steadily decreased in the last eight years since unemployment reached around 10 percent during the recession in 2010.

Despite this national growth, some industries face more trouble than others. Hurricane Florence, for example, is likely a factor for the loss of 17,000 jobs in September, affecting the leisure and hospitality sector. Just a month prior, the hospitality industry had an increase of 21,000 new jobs. Retail also cut around 20,000 jobs in September.

Industries with the most promising growth include professional and business services (54,000 jobs added), health care (30,000), transportation and warehousing (24,000), construction (23,000), and manufacturing (18,000).

See the bureau's most recent unemployment report here. The BLS will release reports on individual state's unemployment rates later in October. Data published in September showed that while the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in August, the rate in Pennsylvania was 4.1 percent; New Jersey was 4.2 percent; and Delaware was 3.9 percent. All three states' unemployment rates were lower than they had been in August 2017.