The participation rate plunged to 62.4 percent in September, its lowest since October 1977. The total labor force fell to a 2015 low, losing another 350,000 people. The household survey was even worse than the headline establishment number, showing a decrease of 236,000 in employment. However, the number reporting they were unemployed declined as well, by 114,000. Those reported not in the labor force increased by 579,000.
In addition to the weak headline numbers, wages were flat, indicating little inflationary pressures for the Fed, and the average work week actually fell a fraction to 34.5 hours.
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