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Employment report showing progress

Unemployment rate is the lowest its been in six years

September’s jobs report shows improvements in the country’s employment situation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. Healthcare continues to contribute to employment gains.

Employment rose by 248,000 last month, beating economists’ expectations, with the largest gains in healthcare, retail trade and professional and business services. The unemployment rate also showed improvement, falling from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent, the first time the unemployment rate has been below 6 percent in six years.

Jobs in healthcare remained close to its 12-month average of 20,000 with an increase of 22,600 in September. All sectors except nursing care facilities and physician offices saw gains last month. Physician offices lost 400 jobs and nursing care facilities lost 1,000. Home health and hospitals had the largest gains, with 6,800 and 6,200, respectively.

Of the 81,000 jobs added in professional and business services, the largest gains occurred in employment services (more than 34,000) and management and technical consulting services (more than 12,000).

Jobs in the retail trade sector rose by 35,000 in September. The food and beverage sector added 20,000 of those jobs, largely due to the resolution of worker strikes at New England-based grocery chain Market Basket.

The financial activities sector also gained jobs last month, adding more than 12,000 with strongest growth in insurance carriers and related activities (more than 6,000) and securities, commodity contracts and investments (more than 5,000).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised enrollment numbers for July and August, adding a combined 69,000 jobs to its previous estimates. July was revised from more than 212,000 to more than 243,000 and August from more than 142,000 to more than 180,000.