Jobs report: 114K jobs added, jobless rate 7.8%; Update: CNBC confused by “contradictory” numbers; Update: Bloomberg explains?

posted at 8:31 am on October 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered yet another disappointing jobs report.  In September, the economy only added 114,000 jobs, and while the jobless rate dropped to 7.8%, that mainly came from a mid-year adjustment last month on the number of current jobs:

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September.

Looking at the internals, there were few true bright spots, but at least it wasn’t as bleak as the last couple of months.  The U-6 number, which captures unemployment and underemployment as well as the marginally attached, stayed the same as in August at 14.7%.  The civilian population participation rate rose a tenth of a point to 63.6%, exactly where it was in the 1982 midterm election, and only missing the 31-year low set last month.

The number of unemployed dropped 456,000 last month, while only 114,000 jobs got added.  That either means that 342,000 people left the US, or they left the work force in one way or another.  In the household survey, though, the number of people with jobs rose by 873,000 — a very strange outcome that makes it appear that more than one tweak has been done to previous data.  (The +873K is in the seasonally adjusted number, by the way.)

CNBC calls the numbers “tame,” but also notes the “contradictory” numbers:

Job growth remained tame in September, with the economy creating just 114,000 net new positions though the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent.

The report presented a slew of contradictory data points, with the total employment level soaring despite the low net number.

The falling jobless rate had been a function as much of the continued shrinking in the labor force as it was an increase in new positions.

But the government said the total number of jobs employed surged by 873,000, the highest one-month jump in 29 years. The total of unemployed people tumbled by 456,000.

Something’s odd with this report.  Either the household survey (one of the two surveys the BLS uses to compile this report) is way off, or the BLS is underreporting job growth in the overall numbers.

Update: Bloomberg’s Alex Kowalski has an explanation that covers most of the confusion:

The household survey showed an 873,000 increase in employment, the biggest since June 1983, excluding the annual Census population adjustments. Some 582,000 Americans took part- time positions because of slack business conditions or those jobs were the only work they could find.

Jeryl Bier points out another part of the explanation:

So we have people being forced back into the workforce to take part-time jobs, but not good enough jobs to count towards the non-farm payroll growth?  The numbers still don’t quite add up to me, but that household data isn’t nearly as good as it looks.

Update II: That’s confirmed by Chris Cuomo:

U-6 is still at 14.7%, and it hasn’t been below 14% in years.

Update III: To emphasize Chris’ point, here’s the U-6 number since January 2006:

It’s not coming down much at all.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Would love to see the partisan breakdown of the 873,000 Americans who say they got new jobs.”

verbaluce on October 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

So, Obama is saying he created 873,000 new jobs in September?????

faraway on October 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

BREAKING: The Sullivan Group has upgraded Rush Limbaugh’s accuracy rating 1/10 of a point as a result of his prediction that the Øbama regime would cook the unemployment numbers below 8% just before the election.

Congrats, MahaRushie!

petefrt on October 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Being reported on The Hill

Scarborough: Something’s awfully odd about this job report
Labor report reflecting falling jobless rate stirs campaign firestorm
Chip on October 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Wow, this is awesome. Not only is this jobs report not going to help Obama, it’s going to wind up hurting him because people will know that the Obama administration cooked the books. Shows how desperate the Obama administration is getting.

eyedoc on October 5, 2012 at 1:15 PM

So, Obama is saying he created 873,000 new jobs in September?????

faraway on October 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Only before netting out all the people who lost their jobs.

eyedoc on October 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I love it. Desperate and malicious Obama troll gumbyandpokey is so desperate that he’s quoting month-old polls.

All it does is show how gumbyandpokey and his fellow Obama supporters lie and try to manipulate numbers. They are crooks.

Do you think you have any more credibility, gumbyandpokey? Do you think your obvious lying is helping your Barack Obama?

northdallasthirty on October 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

When someone pours one gallon of water into a five-gallon empty bucket and tells you it’s half full, you’re supposed to ask questions.

CrustyB on October 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Zero is not getting favorable press. They are openly disbelieving the report and questioning it. That is very bad indeed. oops.

dogsoldier on October 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Where is this happening?
(And I don’t mean folks reporting on conservatives/Jack Welch trying to sell that angle.)

verbaluce on October 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM

and CNBC this morning. I know it’s tough to catch up when you get up late.

I’ve been posting on it since this morning. It’s so embarrassing they trotted out Hilda Solis to act all indignant. LOL! The propaganda is collapsing.

What’s getting reported is that the LSM media outlets are getting “bombarded” (from the CNBC piece) by people calling BS.

That’s the story. No one is buying the lie. oops.

dogsoldier on October 5, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Looks like not even the MSM is buying these cooked numbers…I guess the conspiracy has backfired?

tkyang99 on October 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Do you think you have any more credibility, gumbyandpokey? Do you think your obvious lying is helping your Barack Obama?

northdallasthirty on October 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

He doesn’t care. He’s a psychopath. Read this definition and tell me it doesn’t fit:

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions, stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behavior such as parasitic lifestyle.

G&P’s glee over jobs reports that show hundreds of thousands of Americans giving up looking for work, along with his willingness to come here and lie and manipulate facts in support of his feeble arguments should have him in a padded room somewhere. Hey, it’s the Internet…how do we know he’s not in a padded room right now?

HTL on October 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM

We all know that the economy must produce 150,000 jobs a month to just keep up with the population so……..let me get this straight……..We actually lost 36,000 jobs in September but the unemployment rate went down from 8.1% to 7.8%? I think even low information voters might think somethings not quite right.

Capitalist Infidel on October 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I think there will be a siren, too.

blink on October 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM

This could easily happen. Hilda had a all out propaganda fest a few months ago that made many unhappy….

dogsoldier on October 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economics adviser to John McCain and the former head the Congressional Budget Office, calls the numbers “implausible.”

“Sept. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent due to an extraordinary – but implausible – estimate of 873,000 #jobs in household survey,” said Holtz-Eakin on Twitter.

“The report presented a slew of contradictory data points, with the total employment level soaring despite the low net number,” said CNBC’s Jeff Cox.

The Washington Post’s Neil Irwin adds, “Weird that payrolls are exactly on forecast but household survey is far better.”

And the Wall Street Journal warns that these numbers should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

When you lose WaPo… just saying.

AJsDaddie on October 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Breaking news…Obama hired Romney’s Cayman Island accounting firm to calculate this months unemployment numbers.

ZippyZ on October 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

A bridge to sell you?

Swamp land in Florida to sell you?

Your lame cobwebby 1957 sense of humour is noted.

If only you could go back there.

But you can always dream.

Dave Rywall on October 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

How about you go back to your f…ing canadian hole that you crawled out of….Mr, Canadian MP hahahaha :) stupidest troll on HA pretends to have been a canadian MP )…

jimver on October 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM

From yesterday

Economists expect employers added 113,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent from August’s 8.1 percent, according to a Reuters survey. Friday’s report will be the second-to-last before the November election.

Flora, killer. Thanks. I thought they’d doctor the number to be 7.9%, then up it next week, when no one watches, or not at all.

Btw, the markets are up only due to anticipation of Romney winning. They always factor things in ahead of time.

Schadenfreude on October 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hey Rywall, how did yer empty suit do on Wednesday?

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Just for D. Rywall

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Ogumby and Opokey did about as well here as 0 did at the debate. I’m laughing in your freaking face you pathetic little troll. See you election night! Lol!

Bmore on October 5, 2012 at 1:59 PM

>Hiding 2007 racist comments in Hampton speech
>Cooking Labor Department unemployment statistics
>Having surrogates blame altitude for disastrous Debate performance
>Whitewashing Fast and Furious scandal with an “exonerating” self-audit
>Using surrogates to defame and besmirch Republican rival with totally unsubstantiated prevarications and innuendo
>Fanning the flames of racial and class warfare to energize constituencies

What next-covering up Middle Eastern murder and mayhem and projecting blame on a filmmaker? Oh…wait…..!!!!!

MaiDee on October 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Rywall, your Fool in full glory.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Brings back memories…

Of the time Congress called comedian to testify at the exact same time officers were being questioned by Congress about the Obama/Holder Fast and Furious scandal.

I wonder if there’s another, more serious Obama-threatening story somewhere waiting to be dumped into the NEWS stream after 5 pm today. Must be pretty serious to need a diversion this big, eh?

ROCnPhilly on October 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I wonder if there’s another, more serious Obama-threatening story somewhere waiting to be dumped into the NEWS stream after 5 pm today. Must be pretty serious to need a diversion this big, eh?

ROCnPhilly on October 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Why do you think he acted like he did on Wednesday. Woodward will be proven right.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I can not believe a jobs report is not controlled by a nonpartisan agency. Hilda Solis is part of Obama’s team and when she came out to defend the new numbers she also was quick to make political attacks on Republicans.

How can the country allow partisan hacks release monthly numbers?
Am I missing something?

Bensonofben on October 5, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Obama sure is spiking the ball over what amounts to an accounting change for past jobs – which may or may not be near accurate. There are numerous contradictory data points in this report, as Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the CBO, notes.

Former GE CEO (back from when they were a great company and a force for good, not the Evil Immelt Empire) Jack Welch suspects manipulation.

Drudge reports the BLS economists are Obama donors.

John Boehner notes that Obama promised unemployment would be down to 5.6% now if we passed his stimulus bill.

Adjoran on October 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Wow. Looking around the interwebs, watching TV news and listening to radio — NO ONE is buying this phony labor report. NO ONE. This was a baaaad decision by the Zero campaign. He is damaged goods, and now even more so — damaged goods AND corrupt. I never thought I’d see the day when this fella in the White House would get the real deal preezy treatment.

And his labor secretary is “insulted” by suggestions she cooked the books for barry’s re-election campaign? That’s a classic non-denial denial. Stomp your feet, pound your little fists, say it is “outrageous! outrageous, I tell ya” to be accused of such a thing. But don’t straight up deny it…cuz that would be a lie.

Rational Thought on October 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Not only is the Household survey of 873,000 the highest number in 29 years, but I am almost certain that when that particular survey has been over 500,000 jobs, the BLS numbers for the most part followed along. Not this time however.

In other words, what should be looked up is the differential between the two surveys. I bet the 759,000 difference between the 2 surveys is not only the largest in the history of our country, but its the largest by more then a 2-1 margin. I bet the difference has never been more then 400,000 before this great history making day.

What that would prove I believe is that they are cheating. Records are never broken by 2-1 margins. Its like the next guy breaking the HR record by hitting 150 homers. One of these experts with the data in front of them need to see what the differential is between the two numbers and prove them as cheaters.

KMav on October 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM

So, if you have two part-time jobs that counts as two people employed. Three part-time jobs count as three people employed…

Heck, I can work at the Bureau of Labor and Lies.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Hopefully, the undecided voter will look at their own situations as well as their friends and family to determine if the economy needs a new leader. Personally, I don’t see a booming economy anywhere after almost three years. Even our CEO at work makes a point in his future predictions that the looming fiscal crisis is affecting sales. So I am really not sure why the Predident was so giddy this morning.

Mr_Magoo on October 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Jack is a man worth listening to. He is also not the type to fly off the handle with wild accusations.

After setting off a minor social media firestorm with a tweet suggesting the Obama administration had manipulated the September jobs report, Jack Welch wants to get one thing straight: He meant it.

“I wasn’t kidding,” the pugnacious former CEO of General Electric said in an interview.

The 76-year-old retiree riled up the Twitterverse this morning with a tweet that said, “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

MJBrutus on October 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

They can’t really get away with this, can they?

This is the most boldface lie yet ( I may be wrong on that, but I can only focus on today right now).

The coincidence that the job’s report does a turn-around, not seen for 29 yrs, the month BEFORE the election?

Come on, even liberals can’t believe this crap!

ccrosby on October 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

144,000 jobs was a great month for 1962!

MN J on October 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM

They can make it go down to 0% next month. All those people out of work will think, “Hey, I’ve got a job and didn’t even know it!”

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 6, 2012 at 9:12 AM