The U.S. unemployment rate fell to just 4.2% in September, the lowest rate since 2001, according to the latest Employment Situation summary published by the BLS today. Additionally, the labor force participation rate increased to 63.1%. The highest level since March 2014. Even though the labor participation rate is still 3 percentage points lower than before the Great Recession, its steady numbers coupled with low unemployment rate, suggests that the US might be operating near full employment.
On the other hand, the seven year streak of positive job gains ended, at least temporarily, as the BLS reports 33,000 fewer jobs in September. Probably, the main causes are Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In the first week of September, when Hurricane Harvey hit, jobless claims spiked from 62,00 to 298,000.