Only 148K Jobs Created In September

The September jobs report is out a few weeks late. It wasn’t really worth waiting for, only 148,000 jobs were added, missing expectations of 180,000. But the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% because the August number was revised upward for a change. It could probably have something to do with the number of people that dropped out of the labor force. Oh, and the revision to the July number was just dismal.

July’s report was “revised” for a second time, down from the original 169K to 89K. The participation rate is still just 63.2%, which matches the lowest back during the Carter administration in 1978.

This is what stagnation looks like:

The jobless rate declined to 7.2%, but that’s not coming from an employment explosion. In order to keep up with population growth, the US economy has to add around 150K jobs net each month, which means we did slightly worse than tread water in September.  Both the U-3 and the U-6 number declined in this case by a tenth of a point, with U-6 now at 13.6%.  Before the Great Recession really got into high gear in the fall of 2008, U-6 was at 10.8%, and it was at 14.2% when Barack Obama took office.

This month, 136,000 people left the workforce in the population survey, which is almost the same number as the net jobs added in the establishment survey.  The number of employed in the same population survey only increased 133,000.  It’s a real demonstration of the continuing stagnation, and another indication of the decreasing value of the jobless rate as an economic indicator.

Oh well, if you’re looking for a giggle, check out what the BLS did with the part-time/full-time numbers. What a hoot. But it looks like Wall Street is happy, at least for the moment.

Update: I was wondering about this. A record 90,609,000 Americans are not participating in the labor force. That could explain the drop in the unemployment rate.