The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finally released the employment report for September this morning. The economy added 148,000 new jobs and unemployment fell by one tenth of a percent to 7.2%. The Obama administration noted that it was the 43rd consecutive month of job growth and hailed it as further evidence of a steadily improving economy.
But the report is actually further evidence of a stalled recovery (and it was never much of a recovery) and an economy that could begin backsliding into recession. The following is a chart of unemployment since the onset of the recession six years ago: Unemployment Chart. Note that “U3a” unemployment, a measure that holds the labor force as a constant fraction of the total population, is at exactly the same level as October, 2012, and never managed to drop below 10%. And the difference between this measure and the BLS’s (“U3,” which claims that millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor force) – what I call the “detachment from reality index” – hit a record level in September. Here’s the chart: Detachment from Reality Index. In other words, the lie designed to perpetuate the myth of an improving jobs market just keeps getting bigger and the Obama administration’s nose keeps getting longer.
Per capita employment was essentially unchanged in September and remains little changed in the last year-and-a-half. Here’s the chart: Per Capita Employment.
Finally, the number of unemployed Americans is actually higher than it was eleven months ago: Unemployed Americans.
The link at the beginning of this post will take you to the BLS’s summary of the data. Several things are worth noting:
- Employment in health care has led the charge in job growth during much of the “recovery.” But that sector is now faltering. In 2012, health care added an average of 27,000 jobs per month. So far in 2013, that number has fallen to 19,000 per month. In September, it fell to only 7,000.
- Job growth in “leisure and hospitality” grew by 28,000 per month over the last twelve months, but actually lost 7,000 jobs in September.
- There was no job growth in manufacturing in September.
- While the employment level grew by 133,000 in September (the household survey number, which pretty much coroborates the establishment survey figure of 148,000 jobs added), dig more deeply into the numbers and you find that part-time employment grew by 682,000, while full-time employment fell by 560,000. In other words, there was a significant shift toward lower-paying, part-time work in September.
This isn’t good news for the economy. Good-paying, full-time employment is getting more scarce and improvement in the jobs market has stalled. No surprise, since the Obama administration has done nothing to improve the jobs picture – has done nothing to bring manufacturing jobs back home while exacerbating the over-supply of labor with out-of-control immigration.