September Jobs Report Finally Released: News Mixed

The Department of Labor released the September jobs report yesterday, and the bottom line is that while unemployment is down (7.2 percent, as opposed to 7.3 in August), hiring appears to have slowed. The economy added 148,000 jobs last month, down from 193,000 for August.

dept of labor 

(Photo Credit: NCinDC/Flickr)

"After a delayed release due to the government shutdown, the September Jobs Report presented a mixed bag of news," says Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale. "The number of new jobs was far below expectations, but the unemployment rate continued its gradual descent to 7.2 percent, putting it at a five-year low. Due to both the delayed release and the lackluster news, economists are already waiting for the upcoming October Jobs report as it will factor in the impacts of the shutdown."

CNN also notes that unemployment is lower than it's been at any point since 2008, although they quote economists as saying that the report is "disappointing" and "a mixed bag."

"The cloudy picture of the job market isn't likely to clear anytime soon," Annalyn Kurtz writes at CNN. "The economic impact from the shutdown is expected to show up in the October jobs report. Its release will also be delayed until November 8."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the jobs report creates a problem for the Fed, which meets Oct. 29-30 for its policy meeting.

"Fed officials were hoping a few months ago that the economy would be showing enough strength by now to warrant pulling back on their bond-buying program," writes Jon Hilsenrath at WSJ. "The economy isn't meeting the test."

Hilsenrath also raised concerns that the unemployment numbers might be dropping for the wrong reasons -- i.e., people ceasing to look for work.

This news is similar to what we saw with the most recent release of The PayScale Index, in which we predict that fourth quarter wages for 2013 will slow to 0.8 percent growth year-over-year. Meanwhile, real wages are down 6.7 percent since 2006 -- another sign that economic recovery is not complete.

Meanwhile, The Atlantic reminds us of the importance of getting our news from more than one source, sharing a reader-contributed screenshot of his morning news feed:

jobs report 

(Screenshot Credit: The Atlantic)

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