The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that job growth dropped to the slowest pace seen this year, adding just 194,000 new jobs in September and marking the second consecutive month of decline. The unemployment rate dropped to an 18-month low of 4.8%, partially offset by those leaving the labor force. August payrolls were revised to show a revised job gain of 366,000, up from the originally reported 235,000. Overall employment remains 5.0 million jobs below the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020.
Healthcare employment fell by 17,500 jobs in September, with the bulk of loss once again occurring within nursing and residential care facilities. Job losses occurred in nursing and residential care facilities (-38,000) and hospitals (-8,000), while ambulatory health care services added jobs (+28,000). Employment in health care is down by 524,000 since February 2020, with nursing and residential care facilities accounting for about four-fifths of the loss.