114,000 jobs added in September. Not bad, but not great.

However, July and August both got BIG revisions upward. 41K more for July and 46K more for August. That puts them at 181K and 142K respectively. Those are starting to look like decent numbers, and may bode well for a September revision upward.

Here are some numbers from this month’s report…

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) declined over the month. The unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians, at 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), fell over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 302,000 over the month to 2.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to 58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent. (See table A-1.)

I’m guessing that this will help Obama a little bit because the unemployment number has fallen below 8%…finally. But Romney will claim it’s not enough. Will this sway any voters? Perhaps. Because the jobs numbers are much better in some of the key swing states, and the political reality now for these candidates is micro-targeting. Sure, things like the debates grab a lot of attention, but folks are so much more likely to vote because a candidate addressed them individually about their specific needs. Obama appears to have the advantage in that regard since his outreach machine is massive and has only grown more sophisticated in the past 4 years.

Still, what do you think? Good news for Obama? Will this help him? Or will it help Romney?

  • Tillyosu

    Yea wasn’t there a debate or something a couple days ago? I guess Justin didn’t want to blog about that.

    But seriously, 7.8% unemployment is good for a sitting president? Imagine if it was Bush running for reelection in 2004. There would be a segment about the “Jobs Crisis” running every. single. day. on the Nightly News. Complete with ominous music.

  • mw

    “… wasn’t there a debate or something a couple days ago?

    Always happy to help.

  • mw

    Good news for Obama? Will this help him?

    Even if it does not mean much, it has to help optically to have the headline rate finally below 8%. Or – at least – it stopped hurting him quite so much.

    The Republicans are not doing themselves any favors by lending any credence to the “numbers are cooked” conspiracy nonsense. If they were going to cook the numbers, wouldn’t they at least made them into something that was not as completely horrible as these?

    Anyway, the conspiracy crap is completely unnecessary. It is perfectly sufficient to say the President absolutely deserves full credit for the slowest, most anemic recovery supported by the most massive wasteful and destructive fiscal & monetary stimulus in the history of mankind.

  • TerenceC

    That wasn’t a debate. One guy tried to get the facts out, and pretty much did. The other guy tried to dissemble every fact, and pretty much did. One guy gave a great performance, the other guy looked like he woke up in the middle of someone else’s dream. At least with a positive jobs report BO’s poor debate performance, and MR’s poor grasp of the facts won’t be discussed as much as conspiracy theories. You gotta love the media’s attention to proper political discourse:)

  • Tully

    What mw said.

    The notion that figures were cooked? Plays great to right-wing paranoid partisans, I’m sure, but I sincerely doubt it. What is true is that the numbers DO look out of line, but ascribing that to “enemy action” is fairly daft. More likely is sampling error in the CHS survey as to the magnitude of part-time employment increase.

    An examination of the line items in the BLS report does not make it a cheery report. U3 dropped due to several factors, namely a massive increase in part-time employment, several upward revisions of the July/August figures, and a large number of people leaving the workforce. But the broader U6 figure didn’t budge, and the number of new full-time jobs remained below the level needed just to keep up with population. growth.

    Even assuming a completely accurate report (and it isn’t, that’s why there are always subsequent revisions) it’s not a cheery one. The massive leap in PT employment implies that employers have no intention of committing to the benefit costs of FT labor under current regulatory outlooks.

    Current GDP growth is about even with current inflation. That’s about as anemic as you can get without actually falling into recession. And over the last few years, we’ve actually lost some ground to inflation, as reflected in falling household income stats.