PhotoA sharp drop in employment at restaurants and bars contributed to an overall loss of jobs in September.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports 33,000 jobs disappeared last month, the first monthly job loss since 2010. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from the August reading of 4.4 percent.

The BLS said the loss of 105,000 jobs at food services and drinking places, as well as below-trend growth in some other industries, was likely due to the severe damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The unemployment rates for adult men (3.9 percent) and Blacks (7.0 percent) declined in September, while the jobless rates for adult women (3.9 percent), teenagers (12.9 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), Asians (3.7 percent), and Hispanics (5.1 percent) showed little change.

The employment-population ratio rose 0.3 percent to 60.4 percent in September and is up 0.6 percent over the past 12 months.

The labor force participation rate rose 0.2 percent to 63.1 percent, but it has shown little movement over the year.

Where the jobs are

In addition to the steep employment decline in food services and drinking places, job losses were reported in commercial banking (-3,000) and manufacturing (-1,000).

Jobs were added in health care (+23,000), transportation and warehousing (+22,000), professional and business services (+13,000), and financial activities (+10,000).

Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and government, showed little change.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents in September to $26.55. Over the past 12 months, hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents, or 2.9 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from +156,000 to +169,000, while July was revised down from +189,000 to +138,000.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 91,000 over the past 3 months.

The complete report is available on the BLS website.


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