"Here are some reactions after the Labor Department reported 114,000 jobs created in September and a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8%.
The full story of the September jobs report can be found here: See story on jobs report.
• “One has to see this as a good report, and certainly better than expected. Consider these key points: Household jobs surged 873k, the labor force rose 418k, and the participation rate rose to 63.6. That of course cannot be sustained, but it is exceptionally strong. Net revisions totaled 86k on the payroll survey. That is the good news. The bad news is that it was virtually all government workers.... Eric Green, TD Securities.
• “Even allowing for the normal volatility in the household survey, those are big moves. It means the unemployment rate has now fallen by 0.5% in two months. That probably doesn’t qualify as the substantial improvement the Fed is looking for, but it would do in the unlikely event that this rate of decline continued.” — Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics
• “What helps explain the big decline in the unemployment rate? Not a conspiracy—big rise of 600,000 in part-time workers. Self-employed up 118,000.” — John Silvia, Wells Fargo
• “In the payrolls data, a small drop in factories was offset by broadly based gains in services employment, including government education and health. Last month’s revised gain of 142 looks much more in line with what we had actually forecast for August. Hourly earnings +0.3%, and a one tick rise in the average workweek to 34.5 hours also revealed strength relative to recent trends. In sum, a healthy report despite the modest miss on the headline jobs gain.” — Avery Shenfeld, CIBC
• “The household survey often shows considerable volatility, and thus we view a good portion of the latest gains as nothing more than an offset to declines in the prior two months. Nevertheless, employment is up on balance in the past three months, and by a sizeable amount (186,000 on average). Therefore, a portion of the drop in unemployment could be viewed as fundamental. From a broader perspective, the declines in unemployment in the past two months might be viewed as catch-up or payback for little net change during the spring and summer.” — Mike Moran, Daiwa Capital Markets America
• “After a disappointing performance at the debate, President Obama received an early holiday gift. The jobless rate fell to the lowest rate since he came into office matching the January 2009 rate. There are actually 325,000 more people working since Obama became President even though there are still 12.1 million people unemployed.” — Sung Won Sohn, California State University
• “This is not what a real recovery looks like. We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office. If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent.” — Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate
• “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.” — Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers"
It's still bad. No surprise there.
Government workers, part timers, education and health care employees were the apparent contributors to the September job gains. Manufacturing lost again.
All that said, the monthly numbers, and especially those humongous numbers from the household survey (873,000 new jobs), should not be taken too seriously.
However, we aren't in recession, and things will continue to improve, albeit at a painfully slow rate.
For those favoring President Obama and who are happy to wait at least another several years to get employment back to where it needs to be, I guess the September numbers can be considered as good news.
For the rest of us, however, they continue to suck. Too much government for me.