September Jobs Growth Eases Recession Fears

Although the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.7 percent, the economy added 110,000 jobs in September, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.

The government also reported that employment increased by 89,000 jobs in August, as it revised an earlier report that showed an unexpected loss of 4,000 jobs and caused a stock market sell-off and interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The growth, which topped Wall Street expectations of 100,000 jobs, is expected to ease fears of a recession but it could cause the Fed to back off of any additional interest rate cuts.

The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.2 million, but total employment rose to 146.3 million last month and the civilian labor force rose to 153.5 million.

In September, several service-providing industries gained jobs, while manufacturing and construction employment continued to decline.

Health care employment continued to expand in September, adding 33,000 jobs, with gains in ambulatory services and in hospitals. Over the year, health care has added 396,000 jobs.

Employment in food services and drinking places increased by 25,000 in September. The industry has added 355,000 jobs over the year.

In retail trade, building material and garden supply stores lost 17,000 jobs over the month.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 18,000 in September. Over the year,

manufacturing has lost 223,000 jobs. In construction, residential specialty trade contractors shed 15,000 jobs over the month and 160,000 since February 2006.

Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent, in September to $17.57, seasonally adjusted. Average weekly earnings also grew by 0.4 percent over the month to $593.87. Over the year, both average hourly and weekly earnings rose.