The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level in nearly four years, as employers created 114,000 jobs.
The increase follows a revised 142,000 gain in August that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 92 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 115,000.
“Things are improving, but it’s really a small down payment on a very big project we’ve got ahead,” James Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said today on Bloomberg Radio. “Politically, it’s important news. It’s nice to see the unemployment rate coming down.”
The unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households. The survey showed an 873,000 increase in employment, the biggest since June 1983, excluding the annual census population adjustments. Some 582,000 Americans took part- time positions because of slack business conditions or those jobs were the only work they could find.
Joblessness fell most among teenagers, declining to 23.7 percent last month from 24.6 percent.
Payrolls projections in the Bloomberg survey ranged from increases of 60,000 to 165,000 after an initially reported 96,000 gain in August. Revisions to July and August added a total of 86,000 jobs to payrolls in the previous two months.
Private payrolls, which exclude government agencies, rose by 104,000 in September. They were projected to advance by 130,000, the survey showed.
Factories eliminated 16,000 positions, compared with the survey forecast of no change and following a 22,000 decrease in the previous month.