Grim reaper photoshop credit: Manly Rash
The latest jobs report is out — and the NYTimes can’t whitewash the truth. It’s “far worse” than expected. The unemployment rate is stuck at 9.6 percent.
The economy shed 95,000 nonfarm jobs in September, the Labor Department reported Friday, with most of the decline the result of the layoffs by local governments and of temporary decennial Census workers.
The steep drop was far worse than economists had been predicting. Most estimates were for a loss of only a few thousand jobs.
“September’s U.S. payroll report adds to the evidence that the recovery is losing what little forward momentum it had,” said Paul Ashworth, senior United States economist at Capital Economics.
The recovery that officially began in June 2009 has slowed considerably in recent months, raising concerns about the long slog the country will have to endure to dig itself out of the deepest downturn since the Great Depression. Private payrolls have been growing throughout 2009 but at a rate too sluggish to make much of a dent in unemployment. The outlook for the rest of the year is equally discouraging, economists say.
“We’re looking for companies to get more confident in the pace of recovery and start to hire around 150,000 jobs a month, which is what we need just to keep the unemployment rate flat,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “But I just don’t see that happening between now and the end of the year.”
While total government jobs fell by 159,000, private sector companies added 64,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate, which measures the percentage of workers who are actively looking for but unable to find jobs, stayed flat at 9.6 percent.
The die is cast, and it’s grim news for the Democrats. There’s nothing now that Congress or President Barack Obama can do to before the November midterm elections to jolt the nation’s stagnant economy.
Friday’s government report — the last major economic news before the midterm elections — showed the nation continued to lose jobs last month, reinforcing the bleak reality that it probably will be years — not months — before employment returns to pre-recession levels below 6 percent.
That tightens the pressure on Democrats ahead of the Nov. 2 elections. And it also casts a dark shadow well into the 2012 election season and beyond.
BLAME BUSH in 3, 2, 1…
Democrats, who now control the White House and both chambers of Congress, are sticking with a positive line: The economy is moving too slowly for anybody’s comfort, but Obama and his congressional Democratic allies have laid the groundwork for future prosperity. They are blaming the downturn on the policies of Republican George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency.
Un-fun fact: “Unemployment has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 months in a row, the longest stretch since the Great Depression of the 1930s.”
The Job-Killing Grim Reaper reigns.
Update: 11:47am Eastern. Obama addressing jobs report, stresses private sector jobs added and bashes Republicans.
But via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
There was further bad news in the expansion of underemployed and chronically unemployed. The underemployed grew by 612,000 in September, and is now at 9.5 million people. The chronically unemployed went to 2.5 million, up 300,000 from a year ago. Among the latter group were 1.2 million discouraged workers, up over 500,000 from a year ago.
The winners in job additions were health care, food services and drinking places, employment services, and a slight bump in mining. Manufacturing stayed flat, which may be the best possible outcome, considering the setbacks to manufacturing during “Recovery Summer.” Construction lost 21,000 jobs.
Yesterday, Gallup warned that serious job losses occurred in the final two weeks of the month, and that the BLS data would likely miss it in this report. If true (ADP also saw private-sector losses), then next month’s report will look significantly worse.