- The unemployment rate fell to 7.8%. Non-farm employers added only 114,000 new jobs. In spite of the low number of new jobs, the unemployed rate dropped because of the revisions to July's and August's numbers. July's total jobs added figure was adjusted upward from 141,000 to 181,000 while August's total jobs added figure was adjusted from 96,000 to 142,000. For these two revisions, added 86,000 new jobs to the numbers.
- The number of unemployed persons fell to 12.1 million.
- The civilian labor force participation rate also increased to 63.6% from 63.5% in August.
- The "Not in labor force" (those who have no job and have stopped looking for work) fell 211,000 from 88,921,000 to 88,710,000.
- The number of persons employed for part-time economic reasons (those that are considered part-time involuntary workers) jumped by 600,000 from 8 million in August to 8.6 million in September.
While this will certainly be trumpeted as good news by the media and the Obama administration, and it is good news; any time people get back to work, even if it's in part-time, low-paying jobs, it's a good thing. This certainly isn't a boon for the president. It should not be taken that way. To me, this is the equivalent of being beating handily in a football game, and then scoring a touchdown on the final drive while losing 52-35. We scored some points. Unemployment has fallen from its high of around 10%. But now, according to the unemployment rate, we are exactly where we started, and there are less people participating in the civilian labor force. Sadly, Mr. Obama... families can't live paycheck to paycheck on low-paying, part-time jobs, and we can't look for a "recovery" jobs report to jobs report. We need to feel it across the aggregate, and we need the to get the gears of this economy turning for a full recovery.
Many people are already questioning these numbers. While I do not think they are part of some move or gimmick by the current administration to get the numbers below 8%, I can see why people are scratching their heads, and I can certainly see why people would lose a little trust. On the surface:
We only created 114,000 new jobs, but the rate fell to 7.8%?
July's number was off by 26.4?% August's number was off by 48%?
Again, I must reiterate that I don't think this is an intentional move, but I can certainly understand people's feelings of "how can we trust these numbers when the last two months alone were off by 26% and 48%."
As far as delving into the numbers deeply to explain this math, I will do my best to get into them. It might take time, and I hope I can get to it :-)
I did find one take that I do support. Please read this write-up here: http://www.ijreview.com/2012/10/18256-breaking-september-jobs-report-released/
What I agree with:
"If the number of unemployed dropped by 456,000, but only 114,000 jobs were added, that means that 342,000 people left the workforce in some fashion. Couple that with the fact that the number of part-time workers saw an increase of 582,000 while manufacturing unemployment saw a decrease of 16,000 jobs and this drop in unemployment rate begins to looks less and less optimistic, and more like a misleading mathematical equation.
In 2012, employment growth has averaged a gain of 146,000 jobs per month, a drop from the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. Given these numbers, the 114,000 jobs added in September begin to look worse and worse, regardless of what the often-misleading unemployment rate says.
The much more telling U-6 unemployment rate, which accounts for unemployment, underemployment, and those marginally attached to the workforce, remained the same at 14.7 percent. That 7.8 percent number does not include so many factors and does not tell the whole story. For instance, if a worker should be employed full time but could only find part time work in September, they helped the “unemployment rate” decrease from 8.1 to 7.8 percent, but they would not have changed the U-6 number at 14.7 percent.
Share your thoughts, feelings, and analysis below."