WASHINGTON — Nonfarm payroll employment in September fell by 33,000 jobs, largely due to the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from August's 4.4 percent, the BLS said in its Oct. 6 release.
Employment in food services and drinking establishments tumbled by 105,000 jobs during the month, likely reflecting the effect of hurricanes in major urban areas and resorts, according to the agency.
The biggest job gains in September were in health care (up 23,000 jobs) and transportation and warehousing (up 22,000 jobs), the employment report said. Professional and business services gained 13,000 jobs during the month, and financial services grew by 10,000 jobs.
Manufacturing lost 1,000 jobs, while wholesale and retail trade, mining, construction, information and government saw little change, the BLS said.
As usual, the employment figures issued by payroll services firm ADP Inc. differed significantly from the government's.
Private sector employment increased by 135,000 jobs during September, according to the ADP report issued Oct. 4.
Large businesses (500 or more employees) had the biggest job gains with 79,000 new jobs, according to ADP. Medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) added 63,000 jobs in September, but small businesses (one to 49 employees) lost 7,000 jobs, it said.