After delay, jobs numbers disappoint

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics finally released the September jobs report after the shutdown hiatus, showing non-farm payroll employment increased by 148,000 and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.2%. Here is a compilation of reactions to the data:

FT Alphaville: “Aside from a modest upward revision to the August payroll numbers, which itself was partly offset by a downward revision to July’s, there was little to feel good about in this report. Jobs growth in the summer appears to have slowed from its pace earlier in the year, and that was before the government shutdown.”

Neil Irwin sees worrying signs and blames the weak jobs growth on sequestration: “In the first six months of 2013, the nation averaged 195,000 net new jobs a month. In the last three months, that average has been a mere 143,000… Perhaps the best evidence for federal spending cuts as the culprit behind weak growth is this: It’s the only culprit left standing when you consider the other possibilities.”

Binyamin Appelbaum: “Job growth continued to keep pace with population growth in September, leaving the share of Americans with jobs stuck at 58.6 percent, basically the same low level this “employment rate” has maintained since September 2009.”

Matthew Yglesias: “An interesting fact is that the public sector added 22,000 jobs in September. During a typical business cycle, the government adds jobs at a steady pace during both recessions and recoveries… If the austerity cycle is at an end and states and cities are back to hiring teachers and cops and bus drivers that’ll be good news.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.