Research - OCTOBER 8, 2014

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Unemployment rate drops below 6% for first time since 2008

by Reg Clodfelter

The U.S. unemployment declined to 5.9 percent in September, dropping below 6 percent for the first time since July 2008, when the rate was at 5.8 percent, a significant milestone in the slow but steady recovery of the U.S. economy.

“Obviously, this is good news; it’s moving in the right direction for the entire economy, and we continue to be optimistic,” says Robert Sammons, regional director of Northern California research, Cushman & Wakefield.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 248,000 in September, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million. The biggest gains were in professional and business services, which added 81,000 jobs (compared with an average monthly gain of 56,000 during the prior 12 months), healthcare, which added 23,000 jobs (in line with its 12-month average) and retail, which added 35,000 jobs, bringing the 12-month total for the increase in retail employment to 264,000.

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