Payroll employment fell by 35,000 in September, and the unemployment rate rose
to 5.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department
The BLS says measures of employment and unemployment reported reflect both
the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in late August,
and ongoing labor market trends.
The bureau says Hurricane Katrina caused job losses in September among many
industries in the affected areas. At the national level, these storm-related
losses may have been offset or exacerbated in some industries by developments
in the rest of the country.
In September, the number of persons unemployed due to job loss rose by 234,000
to 3.7 million. The number of newly unemployed--those who were unemployed less
than 5 weeks--grew by 193,000 to 2.7 million.
Meanwhile, the average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers was
unchanged at 33.7 hours in September. The manufacturing workweek remained at
40.5 hours, and factory overtime was down by 0.1 hour to 4.4 hours.
Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on rose by
3 cents in September to $16.18. Average weekly earnings increased by 0.2 percent
over the month to $545.27.