WASHINGTON (10/5/15)--The economy mustered only 142,000 jobs added in September, a big miss considering analysts had forecasted a nearly 200,000-job increase for the month, according to Moody’s (Economy.com Oct. 2).
Additionally, the prior month’s poor performance was expected to receive a boost with a healthy upward revision, but the revision actually stripped job growth in August.
“There is little good that can be said for the September unemployment report, and there is nothing obvious that can explain away the disappointing results,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “Not only was the payroll gain below expectations, but the previous two months’ figures also were revised downward.”
Goods producers shed 13,000 jobs in September, while mining lost 13,000 jobs and manufacturing lost 9,000 jobs. Service industry payrolls added only 131,000 jobs, meanwhile, a far cry from the 197,000 added at this time last year.
Furthermore, the labor force contracted, with the participation rate dropping to a post-recession low of 62.4%. As a result, the unemployment rate slipped to 5.05% from 5.11% in September.
Average hourly earnings also remained flat.
“The household survey confirms the weakness in the payroll survey,” Koropeckyj said. “Although the unemployment rate did edge downward as expected, it did so for the wrong reason--the exit of more workers from the labor force. Household employment actually dipped during the month.”
Koropeckyj added that the surprising weakness in the employment rate, taken with a sluggish international economy, could force the Federal Reserve to once again hold off on raising short-term interest rates at the end of the month.