Unemployment Rate Falls to 30-year Low

The U.S. Labor Department just released its September unemployment statistics, marking a 30-year low with the rate of 4.2 percent. Overall, the nation's jobless rate has stayed below 4.4 percent since March 1999.

Also released were figures regarding the number of payroll jobs, which fell in September by 8,000 positions. The number of positions typically is affected by a major change either in the economy or another sort of large populations-affected change like a natural disaster. For example, the last time the rate fell was in January 1996 due to a winter blizzard. This time, Hurricane Floyd affected the rate.

Even though the job growth was down, average hourly earnings increased in September, growing by .5 percent to $13.37, a rise of .3 percent over August.

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