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Those Unemployment Numbers That Were Delayed By the Gov't Shutdown? They're in and They're Not That Good


U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The U-6 unemployment rate, considered to be a broader measure of actual unemployment in the U.S., fell to 13.6 percent, down from its previous rate of 13.7 percent.

The labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 63.2 percent, its worst posting since August 1978:

The September report was delayed because the partial government shutdown over defunding Obamacare momentarily shuttered the BLS and all department activity.

Industries that saw an uptick in jobs include construction, wholesale trade, transportation & warehousing.

The report also notes revised figures for earlier months: July’s numbers were revised downwards to 89,000 from 104,000 and August’s numbers were revised upwards to 193,000 from 169,000.

“The employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, was essentially unchanged,” the report reads.

Here’s unemployment broken up by group:

  • Men: 7.1 Percent (previous: 7.1 percent)
  • Adult women: 6.2 percent (previous: 6.3 percent)
  • Teenagers: 21.4 percent (previous: 22.7 percent)
  • Whites: 6.3 percent (previous: 6.4 percent)
  • Blacks: 12.9 percent (previous: 13.0 percent)
  • Hispanics: 9.0 percent (previous: 9.3 percent)
  • Asians (not seasonally adjusted): 5.3 percent (previous: 5.1 percent)

The number of people on long-term unemployment (i.e. those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more) fell to 4.1 million, down from its previous posting of 4.3 million. This number accounts for approximately 36.9 percent of total unemployed.

The number of persons “marginally attached” to the labor force in September was 2.3 million, which is somewhat disappointing considering the fact that that number was 2.5 million this time last year.

“These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey,” the BLS report notes.

It continues:

Among the marginally attached, there were 852,000 discouraged workers in September, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities

FINAL THOUGHT: The unemployment rate would be 11.2 percent if labor force participation were the same as when the recession began in 2009.

Markets are opening mixed:


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This post has been updated.


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