The American economy added 148,000 new jobs in September, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 58,000. That’s worse than last month, but basically in the same general area of “meh.” The BLS reports that nothing much has changed:
The unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent, changed little in September….The number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, was also little changed over the month….Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.2 percent, and the employment-population ratio at 58.6 percent, were unchanged in September….The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged at 7.9 million in September.
We should be doing better than this. And if it weren’t for the fiscal cliff deal and the sequester and all the other austerity measures we’ve put in place since 2010, we probably would be. These numbers might very well be double what we’re actually seeing. This, as always, is a self-inflicted wound.