September employment

This morning’s news on September’s employment data was a little better than expected. Nonfarm payroll employment grew by 103,000 — although the unemployment rate stayed at 9.1%. Employment numbers for July and August were also revised upwards. Economists had expected had expected an increase of only 60,000 jobs (Dow Jones Newswire estimate). Employment in professional and business services, health care, and construction increased, while manufacturing and government employment (mostly local) declined. The biggest event affecting the numbers was the return to work of the striking Verizon workers – which may have skewed the numbers upwards.
The news on involuntary underemployed was negative, however. The total number of workers part-time for economic reasons, the number of workers part-time because of slack work and the number of workers who could only find part-time work all increased. The increase in slack work is especially worrisome as it indicates a fall off in production. Slack work had reached a two year low back in March. The increase in involuntary underemployed is about the same as the total increase in the civilian labor force.

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