September employment data

Once again, the BLS data on employment released this morning shows a stagnate labor market. The unemployment rate remained unchanged while total employment dropped by 95,000. The report contains some good news (private sector employment) and some bad news (government employment):

Government employment declined (-159,000), reflecting both a drop in the number of temporary jobs for Census 2010 and job losses in local government. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+64,000).

Once again, however, as the chart below shows, both the number of involuntary underemployed (part-time for economic reasons) and the number of workers involuntarily underemployed because of slack work increased in September. The increase in slack work is especially of concern as it indicates a slight slowdown in production.

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