October Jobs report Shows a steady but slow recovery

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 171,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The politically important unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.9%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 125,000 in payrolls and a 7.9% jobless rate.

Friday’s report offers the last broad snapshot of the economy before the Nov. 6 election. The campaign was overshadowed much of this week by Sandy, though severe disruption and damage caused by the storm isn’t reflected in the October employment figures because they are based on surveys conducted earlier in the month.

Read it all. Blog readers know I prefer U-6, which I consider the most representative rate–it went down from 14.7 to 14.6 month over month. You can find a list of all measures, U-1 through U-6, there and a longer term U-6 chart there–KSH.

Update: Dylan Matthews has 6 charts on the employment report here; note especially the one on wages.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

One comment on “October Jobs report Shows a steady but slow recovery

  1. Capt. Father Warren says:

    We can slice and dice the data six ways from Sunday and overall one can perhaps see a [i]modest[/i] improvement in the employment picture. But here are the hard questions no one in the MSM will ponder for enlightenment:

    1. Is this improvement permanent or seasonal? Think Christmas related employment; first in manufacturing many months out and then in services as the Day approaches.

    2. Did the full-time employment picture improve? How will it look if “too many” people get excited that they might actually find a job and restart their job search and then show up as seekers in the unemployment rates?

    3. Is any of the improvement due to positive government policies or is it just the strongest of businesses successfully swimming upstream against the current of governmental discouragement?

    4. If the improvement is due to governmental policies, why doesn’t the President immediately double down on what is “working”? Why is he not advocating another trillion dollar stimulus? Heck, if it is working so well lets do 4 trillion so we get 4 times the bang.

    5. Or maybe it really didn’t work?