WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 263,000 jobs were added in September. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% (seasonally adjusted) from 3.7%. The unemployment rate for women fell by 0.1 percentage points to 3.4%. The unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics fell to 5.8% and 3.8%, respectively.
Overall, labor force participation fell marginally by 0.1 percentage points to 62.3%. Women’s labor force participation fell to 56.8% from 57.1%. Both are still below pre-pandemic levels.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:
“The red-hot labor market is cooling off fast. Slowing in hiring is just one part of the story. Job openings plunged by 1.1 million last month. Companies are freezing hiring or laying off workers in expectation of slowing economic growth. Not to mention 40-year-high inflation is giving workers a pay cut each month.
“As the falling labor force participation rate signals, workers including many women are leaving the labor force instead of coming back. With schools in session in person and the holiday shopping season on the horizon, we expect to see more workers, especially women, returning to work. Industries concentrated with women such as retail saw little increase, and we are still over a million hospitality jobs short of where we were prior to the pandemic.
“Washington’s overspending drove inflation in 2021, and the economy has been struggling since. The Fed raised rates to combat inflation, but that has blowback on the labor market. Biden’s agenda has been damaging to workers’ wallets, and the pain is poised to only continue.”