The U.S. jobs report for September showed the economy added 103,000 jobs, which exceeded economists’ expectations of 60,000 jobs and August’s revised gain of 57,000 jobs.
Even though economists clearly underestimated September’s jobs gains, economists and analysts are far from impressed.
Today's data provide a glimmer of hope in what was an otherwise dismal outlook ... Everything is relative, however; labor market conditions are still a far cry from anything anyone would consider encouraging, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.
“The numbers still show shockingly slow job gains and have yet to make any material dent in long-term joblessness. Post-jobs risk sentiment improved, but the readings are simply not strong enough to move the economic needle, nor to sustainably boost sentiment,” said David Watt, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
“While some of the pessimism recently was clearly overblown, the reality is that unemployment has become entrenched at an uncomfortably high level. [September’s] report makes it clear that the U.S. not only needs to prevent job losses, but it also needs to add new payrolls,” said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon.
“Bottom line, 119 thousand jobs per month have been created in 2011 on average, well below the 150 thousand to 200 thousand jobs that is needed to firmly lower the unemployment rate and eat into all the jobs lost in this recession,” said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.
The U.S. jobs report has two surveys to determine the employment situation.
The establishment survey showed that the economy added 103,000 jobs in September. However, the household survey showed that in 2011, the U.S. labor force expanded at an average rate of 104,000 individuals per month.
Gains of about 100,000, therefore, will not meaningfully lower the unemployment rate, which has been predictably stuck at approximately 9 percent for all of 2011.