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U.S. gains 636,000 jobs in September as unemployment rate falls to 6.9 percent

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Dan McCaleb | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The U.S. economy added a net 638,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 6.9% from 7.9%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

“Today’s report shows 877,000 private-sector jobs added back in September, and an additional 145,000 jobs from July and August," U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. "However, the report reflects a seasonally-adjusted loss of 350,000 jobs in public and private education. Large gains were made in lower-wage jobs in retail and leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing added 66,000 jobs, its largest increase since June."

Scalia also noted that more than half of the jobs lost during the early months of  the pandemic and government restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been restored.

September job increases beat expectations but were below August's.

Economists also noted that permanent job losses increased.

"One worrying part of the report: the long-term unemployed," Reade Pickert of Bloomberg News wrote. "The number of people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more increased by 1.2 million to 3.6 million, now accounting for 32.5% of the total unemployed."