154,345,000: Record Number of Americans Employed in September

Unemployment rate declines to 4.2 percent, 16-year low

Job seekers look over job opening fliers / Getty Images

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The number of employed Americans hit a record high of 154,345,000 in September, according to the latest numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 906,000 more Americans who gained employment over the month, and more individuals joined the labor force as well.

There were 575,000 more Americans who joined the labor force in September, while 368,000 fewer left.

The number of Americans not participating in the labor force declined from 94,785,000 in August to 94,417,000 in September. The bureau counts those not in the labor force as people who do not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks.

The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the population that has a job or actively looked for one in the past month, increased from 62.9 percent in August to 63.1 percent in September. The participation rate hasn’t been this high since March of 2014.

While more Americans joined the labor force and found jobs in September, the number of unemployed also declined. In August, there were 7,132,000 who were unemployed and in September that number declined to 6,801,000.

The unemployment rate for all Americans declined from 4.4 percent in August to 4.2 percent in September, which is the lowest level seen in 16 years.

This measure does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force—it simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively sought one over the month.

The "real" unemployment rate, otherwise known as the U-6 measure, declined from 8.6 percent in August to 8.3 percent in September.

There were 5,255,000 Americans working part-time in August who would rather have a full-time job but cited economic reasons for not having such employment. This number declined by 133,000 over the month.

According to the bureau, involuntary part-time workers are "persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time (1 to 34 hours) because of an economic reason, such as their hours were cut back or they were unable to find full-time jobs."

"The job growth we have been experiencing in recent months is difficult to continue indefinitely—especially with the devastating impact of natural disasters—without giving small businesses and Main Street America the tools and resources needed to grow their businesses and invest in new staff, equipment, and ideas," said Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network. "The recently announced tax plan should bring a sense of optimism to the 29 million small business owners and their 56 million employees that work hard every day to provide good products for customers and put food on their families’ tables."

"Congress needs to quickly pass the proposed Unified Framework for fixing the broken tax code," he said. "That way, the small business entrepreneurs responsible for two-thirds of all job creation can get back to doing what they do best: innovating, creating, and inspiring, not diverting earnings to Uncle Sam."

Ali Meyer

Ali Meyer   Email Ali | Full Bio | RSS
Ali Meyer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon covering economic issues that expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was a multimedia reporter with CNSNews.com where her work appeared on outlets such as Drudge Report and Fox News. She also interned with the Heritage Foundation and Pacific Research Institute. Her Twitter handle is @DJAliMeyer, and her email address is meyer@freebeacon.com.

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