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Big drop in U.S. joblessness drops jaws
Labor » Rate falls to 44-month low of 7.8%, triggering cascade of reactions

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Yet in a sign that the economy remains below par, the number of long-term unemployed - those jobless for 27 weeks or more - remained stuck in September at 4.8 million. These long-term unemployed Americans accounted for 40.1 percent of all the jobless.

The health care sector drove employment during the month, adding nearly 44,000 jobs. On the downside, the labor-intensive manufacturing sector shed 16,000 jobs during the month.

At a glance

Job sectors in September by the numbers

Health care, up 43,500.

Transportation and warehousing, up 17,100.

Professional and business services, up 13,000.

Financial services, up 13,000.

Leisure and hospitality up 11,000.

Government jobs, up 10,000.

Retail, up 9,400.

Construction, up 5,000.

Temporary help services, down 2,000.

Manufacturing, down 16,000.

Source: U.S. Labor Department

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"While there were upward revisions to nonfarm payrolls in July and August and increased overall employment in September, the larger story is one of continued weakness. U.S. job growth has been dismal since February, and manufacturers’ employment has declined for two months in a row," Chad Moutray, the chief economist with the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a blog post. "With slowing global growth and uncertainties about the domestic fiscal situation paramount in many minds, the prospects for future growth in the economy are shaky at best."

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