Unemployment still at 9.6% – Private sector adds 64,000 jobs

The September 2010 figures are out, and the summer of recovery has proven to be a dud. Of course, Reuters used the word “unexpected” twice in the first sentence of the first paragraph, and within a few minutes it looks like some editor dropped the words.

The original first paragraph from Reuters, courtesy Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

The U.S. economy unexpectedly shed jobs in September for a fourth straight month as government payrolls fell and private hiring was less than expected, hardening expectations of further Federal Reserve action to spur the recovery.

And now the revised first paragraph from Reuters.

The U.S. economy shed jobs in September for a fourth straight month as government payrolls fell and private hiring slowed, hardening expectations for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve to spur the recovery.

I find the entire unexpectedly kerfuffle quite funny. The word is constantly overused by news organizations like the Associated Press and Reuters, and now when first-string bloggers make note of the word usage – and make fun of its use – the organizations continue to use the word only to pull it from copy within an hour or so.

Private-sector payroll employment trended up modestly, up 64,000 [across the United States]. For reference, the population of New Britain, Conn. is approximately 70,000.

Full text from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with my emphasis in bold.

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-95,000) in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Government employment declined (-159,000), reflecting both a drop in the number of temporary jobs for Census 2010 and job losses in local government. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+64,000).

Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.0 percent), whites (8.7 percent), blacks (16.1 percent), and Hispanics (12.4 percent) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Teenagers … remember our discussion on the minimum wage?

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.1 million, was little changed over the month but was down by 640,000 since a series high of 6.8 million in May. In September, 41.7 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-12.)

In September, both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.7 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, were unchanged. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose by 612,000 over the month to 9.5 million. Over the past 2 months, the number of such workers has increased by 943,000. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in September, up from 2.2 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in September, an increase of 503,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down by 95,000 in September. Government employment fell by 159,000, reflecting both the departure of 77,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls and a decline of 76,000 in local government employment. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up (+64,000) over the month. (See table B-1.)

Health care employment rose by 24,000 in September. The increase was concentrated in ambulatory health care services (+17,000). Health care employment has risen by an average of 21,000 per month this year.

Within professional and business services, employment services added 28,000 jobs in September. Temporary help services accounted for most of the gain.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places increased by 34,000 over the month and has risen by 104,000 thus far in 2010.

Mining employment continued to trend up (+6,000) over the month. Mining has added 77,000 jobs since a recent low in October 2009.

Employment in manufacturing changed little in September and, on net, has been essentially flat since May. The industry added 134,000 jobs during the first 5 months of the year.

Employment in wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities showed little change in September.

Employment in construction edged down (-21,000) over the month, partly offsetting an employment gain in August. Both the August and September changes were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors. Construction employment has shown little net change since February.

Government employment fell by 159,000 in September. A decline in federal government employment was due to the loss of 77,000 temporary Census 2010 jobs. As of September, about 6,000 temporary decennial census workers remained on the federal government payroll, down from a peak of 564,000 in May. Employment in local government decreased by 76,000 in September with job losses in both education and noneducation.

In September, the average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.1 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls was unchanged at 33.5 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 1 cent to $22.67 in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.7 percent. In September, average
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 1 cent to $19.10. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from -54,000 to -66,000, and the change for August was revised from -54,000 to -57,000.

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on October 9, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Øbama and the Democrat party really put the lie to "hope and change".  Now everyone is hoping for change in November.  Or is it "hoping we have some change in our pockets next year"?


    Maybe we should consider calculating dollars per unemployment percentage point over the promise maximum of 8% instead of dollars per "government created" job.  Or maybe trillions of dollars per percentage unemployment over Bush's maximum percentage (in the worst economy since the Great Depression, if you recall).

  2. Dimsdale on October 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Imagine how many jobs the private sector could have added without the looming threat of liberal taxes on the horizon.


    The Sword of Øbamacles?   😉


The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.