Where The September Jobs Were: Secretaries, Waiters, Retail And Social Workers

While we already noted that the headline quantitative print in jobs, which rose by a seasonally adjusted 156K in September, was far weaker when observed from a quality standpoint, as a result of the surge in part-time jobs, the dip in full-time jobs, and the jump in multiple jobholders to the highest since the financial crisis, another question is which industries were hiring, albeit mostly part-time workers.

Here is the answer:

  • The most actively hiring sector was the otherwise stable "Professional and business services" where employment rose by 67,000 in September and has risen by 582,000  over the year. However, a quick look within the number reveals that the most active sub category was that of administrative and support services, which account for more than half, or +35,000, of the increase. In other words, secretaries and clerical staff.
  • Obamacare may be crushing the middle class, but it continues to "create" jobs: Health care added 33,000 jobs in September. Also thank America's aging population: ambulatory health care services, aka social workers, added 24,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, health care has added  445,000 jobs.
  • There was the old faithful: waiters and bartenders, aka "Employment in food services and drinking places" which continued to trend up in September (+30,000) and has increased by 300,000 over the year. This group remains one of the strongest, minimum-wage contributors to the Obama "recovery."
  • Finally, there was minimum wage retail trade workers, where employment continued to trend up over the month (+22,000). Within the industry, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+14,000) and in gasoline stations (+8,000). Over the year, employment in retail trade has risen by 317,000.

In other words, more than half of the 156K jobs added in September went - once again - to minimum wage workers.

What about higher-paying jobs? Manufacturing jobs declined by 13K, transportation and warehousing dipped by 9K, there was no change in mining and logging workers, while financial activities workers rose by a paltry 6K in September.

And that is why America continues to have no wage growth aside from mandatory minimum wage increases, which however as we reported before, may generate higher wages, but it also leads to far fewer hours worked, resulting in flat or declining aggregaget compensation.