September unemployment rate drops to 7.2%

The "official" unemployment rate for September dropped to 7.2% despite the economy creating significantly fewer jobs than expected. The release of the data was delayed due to the government shut down.


September saw the U.S. economy add just 148,000 jobs, significantly worse than expected, according to a report delayed more than two weeks by the government shutdown.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.2 percent as the labor-force participation rate held near 35-year lows, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had been expecting 180,000 new positions and a steady jobless rate.

A broader measure of unemployment that takes into account the underemployed and those who have quit looking for work also edged lower, to 13.6 percent.

"Today's blistering jobs report has quickly reminded America that our economic problems are getting worse, despite talking point reassurances from Federal Reserve officials," said Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital.

The report likely will do little to move the needle on monetary policy.

Most market-watchers now expect the Federal Reserve to continue its $85 billion a month bond-buying program until well into 2014. Consensus sentiment is now that the central bank won't even start easing back on, or "tapering," the purchases until the spring.

The September report provided another reminder that while the jobs market continues to heal it is far from robust.

The bulk of the jobs came from professional and business services, which added 32,000 positions, while there were 20,000 more temporary jobs. Transportation and warehousing rose by 23,000, and there were 20,000 additional construction positions.

One of the strongest areas of job creation over the past several years, leisure and hospitality, lost 7,000 jobs for the month.

July's numbers were revised downard from 104,000 to just 89,000, while August saw a healthy bump from 169,000 to 193,000 jobs created.

The drumbeat has already started as the president and Democrats are blaming the shutdown - caused by Republicans - for all the bad economic news. This is nonsense considering that the shutdown lasted only 16 days. It's estimated that the shutdown cost the US economy $24 billion (Just $3.1 billion in lost federal services) in a $14 trillion economy. How that pittance costs jobs and economic growth is an interesting exercise in spin, but not much else.

Besides, taking people's minds off Obamacare is the #1 priority at this point. Even talking about the lousy economy is better than having to discuss the catastrophe of Obamacare.

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