September Jobs Report Disappoints
The American economy created 148,000 jobs in September – well below the 180,000 experts were predicting. Meanwhile the nation’s labor participation rate – or the percentage of the working age population that is either employed or actively searching for a job – remained stuck at 63.2 percent.
That’s the lowest it’s been since August 1978.
America’s workforce has been steadily shrinking since Obama took office – falling from 65.8 percent in February 2009 to its current 35-year low. Last month, a record 90.5 million Americans were out of the workforce – an all-time high.
In other words the modest declines in unemployment we’ve been witnessing in recent months (the official rate fell from 7.3 to 7.2 percent in September) are due to a shrinking labor pool – not sustained job growth. Add the declining work force to the mix and the nation’s the real unemployment rate is well over 11 percent.
Originally scheduled for release three weeks ago, the September report was delayed because the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was one of the few agencies impacted by the so-called “government shutdown.”