WASHINGTON — Non-farm payroll employment grew by 136,000 jobs in September, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The unemployment rate inched down in September to 3.5% from August's 3.5%, according to the BLS employment report issued Oct. 4.
Health care (up 39,000 jobs), professional and business services (up 34,000 jobs), government (up 23,000 jobs) and transportation and warehousing (up 16,000 jobs) saw the biggest employment gains in September, the BLS said.
Employment in manufacturing, however, fell by 2,000 jobs, and in retail trade by 11,000 jobs, the report said. Figures from manufacturing, mining, construction and wholesale trade were similarly weak.
The BLS figures were very similar to those reported by payroll services firm ADP Inc., which issued its monthly report on private sector employment Oct. 2.
According to ADP, employment grew by 135,000 jobs in September. Only 8,000 jobs were gained in the goods-producing sector, including 2,000 in manufacturing, it said.
The service-providing sector grew by 127,000 jobs, ADP said. Large businesses (500 employees and up) saw the biggest gains, with 67,000 new jobs, the report said. Medium-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees) gained 39,000 jobs, and small businesses (one to 49 employees) 30,000, the report said. (ADP figures sometimes do not add up because of rounding.)
In the franchise sector, there were 5,800 new jobs in September, including 2,400 in auto parts and dealers, ADP said.