'Official' unemployment rate lowest in 6 years

The Labor Department reported that the index used to calculate the unemployment rate dropped below 6% for the first time since July, 2008. The 5.9% number and 248,000 new jobs created in August actually mask some serious problems that are still dogging the jobs market.

Politico:

The number of new jobs easily surpassed expectations – analysts had predicted 215,000 jobs created last month, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Friday’s robust jobs report comes as the White House is making a final push ahead the midterm elections to highlight the economic recovery during the Obama administration. This is the last jobs report before voters go to the polls on Nov. 4.

After stumping for Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in Chicago on Thursday, Obama addressed business students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management with a speech that hit on themes like middle class opportunities, minimum wage and equal pay.

“All told, the United States has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined,” Obama said. “It is indisputable that our economy is stronger today than when I took office.”

Friday’s report also included healthy revisions to the previous months’ payroll figures. The number of jobs gained was revised up from 212,000 to 243,000 for July and from 142,000 to 180,000 for August, for an additional 69,000 jobs in those two months than previously reported.

That's all well and good, but other indices still show weakness on the jobs front:

While the addition of new jobs beat expectations in September, other details in Friday’s data continued to be troubling. The labor force participation rate — an important indicator of a healthy jobs market — dropped from 62.8 to 62.7 percent, with 97,000 people leaving the labor force. This means the drop in the unemployment rate can, in part, be attributed to fewer people looking for jobs.

The average hourly earnings also did not improve, ticking down to $24.53 in September from $24.54 in August.

This latest jobs report is also the final set of monthly employment figures to be released before the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee meets later this month, when it is expected to announce the end of the central bank’s asset-purchase stimulus program, known as quantitative easing (QE).

The end of QE will likely lead to a rise in short term interest rates, which have been held at or near zero for 6 years. The economy has grown addicted to this easy money and it likely will not be an easy withdrawal.

They can release all the positive numbers they want. spin the results as hard as they can, but it still won't make the American people feel any more secure about their financial situation. Americans look at shrinking paychecks, rising prices for everything from food to tuition, and continued cutbacks in key industries and wonder about their future.

It is likely they will take their distress out on Democrats in November.


 

 

The Labor Department reported that the index used to calculate the unemployment rate dropped below 6% for the first time since July, 2008. The 5.9% number and 248,000 new jobs created in August actually mask some serious problems that are still dogging the jobs market.

Politico:

The number of new jobs easily surpassed expectations – analysts had predicted 215,000 jobs created last month, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Friday’s robust jobs report comes as the White House is making a final push ahead the midterm elections to highlight the economic recovery during the Obama administration. This is the last jobs report before voters go to the polls on Nov. 4.

After stumping for Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in Chicago on Thursday, Obama addressed business students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management with a speech that hit on themes like middle class opportunities, minimum wage and equal pay.

“All told, the United States has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined,” Obama said. “It is indisputable that our economy is stronger today than when I took office.”

Friday’s report also included healthy revisions to the previous months’ payroll figures. The number of jobs gained was revised up from 212,000 to 243,000 for July and from 142,000 to 180,000 for August, for an additional 69,000 jobs in those two months than previously reported.

That's all well and good, but other indices still show weakness on the jobs front:

While the addition of new jobs beat expectations in September, other details in Friday’s data continued to be troubling. The labor force participation rate — an important indicator of a healthy jobs market — dropped from 62.8 to 62.7 percent, with 97,000 people leaving the labor force. This means the drop in the unemployment rate can, in part, be attributed to fewer people looking for jobs.

The average hourly earnings also did not improve, ticking down to $24.53 in September from $24.54 in August.

This latest jobs report is also the final set of monthly employment figures to be released before the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee meets later this month, when it is expected to announce the end of the central bank’s asset-purchase stimulus program, known as quantitative easing (QE).

The end of QE will likely lead to a rise in short term interest rates, which have been held at or near zero for 6 years. The economy has grown addicted to this easy money and it likely will not be an easy withdrawal.

They can release all the positive numbers they want. spin the results as hard as they can, but it still won't make the American people feel any more secure about their financial situation. Americans look at shrinking paychecks, rising prices for everything from food to tuition, and continued cutbacks in key industries and wonder about their future.

It is likely they will take their distress out on Democrats in November.