October Jobs report better than expected after GOP shutdown

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The GOP government Shutdown cost $2 billion in lost productivity, report finds. Send the bill to the RNC and every Tea-Publican in Congress.

The GOP government Shutdown furloughs will warp jobs report and economic picture for the month of October:

[T]he 16-day government shutdown last month will skew that picture when October’s numbers are released Friday.

The shutdown forced hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors out of work while Congress and the White House worked on a deal to fund federal operations, which means temporary impacts that could create a mirage of worsening conditions.

Steve Benen reports on the "skewed" October jobs report today, Job growth picks up steam unexpectedly:

If there was one thing everyone seemed to expect this morning, it was a discouraging jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After all, these new figures cover the month of October, which means they’ll include the period in which congressional Republicans shut down the federal government.

Imagine our surprise, then, when the new jobs data turned out to be pretty good.

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double economists’ expectations. The private sector added 212,000 jobs – the second best total of the year thus far.

The overall unemployment rate inched higher, from 7.2% to 7.3%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not uncommon when job creation picks up.

Even better still are the revisions. August’s job totals were revised from 193,000 to 238,000, while September’s were revised up from 148,000 to 163,000. That’s a combined 60,000 additional jobs that had been previously unreported.

All told, so far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 1.86 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash.

OctoberJobs

Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.

OctoberPrivate

The Washington Post adds, Economy added 204,000 jobs during shutdown:

The Labor Department report showed strong hiring in industries such as retail and hospitality, manufacturing and health care. State governments added 8,000 jobs, but that was offset by declines in federal and local employment.

“This is good news for the economy,” said John Silvia, chief economist for Wells Fargo. “Take it at face value.”

The picture was not entirely rosy, however. The national unemployment rate inched up to 7.3 percent in October. The number of folks who have given up looking for work helped drive the labor force participation rate down to just 62.8 percent.

Silvia said that suggests a growing divide between the employed and the out-of-luck. Skilled workers are enjoying higher demand for their services, while those without jobs are having a harder time reentering the labor force.

“The job market is actually narrowing,” he said. “There’s a smaller group of people working, but they are prospering.”

The stronger-than-expected data also belie weakness in consumer spending and confidence. U.S. economic growth gains momentum in third quarter.

The country desperately needs a jobs program for the long-term unemployed, but Congress is not even considering a bill. Instead, Tea-Publicans in Congress are focused on debt reduction and another round of austerity which will only slow economic growth, and continue the sluggish recovery in job growth.

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