The September jobs report is in, and the economy added 150,000 jobs in September, which is below the 167,000 from August. As a result, unemployment has ticker up from 4.9 to 5 percent. The Wall Street Journal has more:
Employment outside of farms grew by a seasonally adjusted 156,000 jobs in September, the smallest gain since May, the Labor Department said Friday.
The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of households, increased a tenth of a percentage point to 5.0%.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 170,000 new jobs and a 4.9% unemployment rate.
The government also revised figures for prior months, though the overall outlook didn’t change much. The economy added 167,000 jobs in August, up from the previously reported 151,000 jobs. It created 252,000 jobs in July, instead of 275,000.
Revision of numbers is always kinda sketchy, but the big news isn’t the job numbers so much as what it means for both the federal reserve and the presidential election.
For the former, steady (although not ideal) growth lends credence to the idea that the Fed can go ahead and raise rates, and that doing so won’t send us into an economic death spiral. It’s actually a good idea for the Fed to raise rates because, in the long term, it shows confidence in the economy, and can actually boost hiring, wages, etc. once people begin feeling comfortable again.
As far as the presidential election goes, growth means that Barack Obama’s approval rating goes up. He’s been blessed with an increasing approval rating thanks largely to Trump, but also due to the fact that things aren’t as terrible as before. This will probably translate to a net positive for Hillary Clinton, who is basically running as the successor to Obama’s legacy.
A couple of notes here. Yes, that 5.0% is not the true unemployment. We know it’s far worse (roughly 9.7%), and the labor force participation rate is around 63%, which is higher than last month. That’s still not good news, but it is not news that you’re going to hear much about from the media. They’re focused on the SUCCESS of the Obama Administration.