Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 7.9%, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care and social assistance, and in professional and business services.
Manufacturing added 66,000 jobs over the month. Durable goods accounted for about two-thirds of the gain, led by motor vehicles and parts (+14,000) and machinery (+14,000). Despite gains over the past 5 months, employment in manufacturing is 647,000 below February's level.