U.S. Unemployment Rate Dips to 3.5%

NATIONAL REPORT—In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.5%, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5%. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.8 million.

In addition, non-farm employment rose by 136,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment in healthcare and in professional and business services continued to trend up.

Among the major worker groups, the jobless rates for adult men (3.2%), adult women (3.1%), teenagers (12.5%), Blacks (5.5%), Asians (2.5%) and Hispanics (3.9%) showed little or no change over the month. The unemployment rate for Whites declined to 3.2% in September.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 304,000 to 2.6 million in September, while the number of new entrants increased by 103,000 to 677,000. New entrants are unemployed persons who never previously worked.

In September, the number of persons unemployed for less than five weeks fell by 339,000 to 1.9 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 22.7% of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2% in September. The employment-population ratio, at 61%, was little changed over the month but was up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.