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

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 8

I brought the rate down below 8%
-dear leader

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Bullsh*t.

Kevin71 on October 5, 2012 at 8:37 AM

…everyone here predicted THAT would happen!

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

And right after Obama’s horrible debate showing. Imagine that. ;-)

eforhan on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Happy days are here again! Right?

SAZMD on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

knew it would happen

txmomof6 on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

What convenient timing.

Sally Satchelbottom and her colleagues at BLS should be proud of their collective fiction.

jangle12 on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Lolol. Why can’t Romney and the far right ever get a break?

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

…next month…6.9%

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Add in the 6.7 million who want a job but aren’t counted as “unemployed”, and the unemployment rate would be 11.6%. Of note, that is higher than any measurable point (i.e. from 1994 on) before March 2009.

Also, U-6 is unchanged at 14.7% as more workers are forced to part-time work.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Watch it “unexpectedly” plummet to 6% on the last report before the election.

TxAnn56 on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

BLS, like Bernanke, got an offer they couldn’t refuse.

The Count on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Objectively good news for the White House. Maybe someone can unskew the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

YYZ on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Looks like the stimulus is finally paying off!

Gatsu on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September.

heh.

sesquipedalian on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

SPINNING BIG TIME already

mitt can’t say that the under the president’s watch the employment rate is above 8%
-halperin

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Rush calls it again….precisely.

FOWG1 on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

How the h3ll do you only add 114K jobs, yet rate drops to 7.8? Inquiring minds want to know……

Renee on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Yeah right and I’m a size 2.

gophergirl on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Told ya so.

This will be the big story all morning long and the debate is now a faint memory.

The Consumer Confidence numbers will surge again in october.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

It’s a Miracle!

/LSM

Southern by choice22 on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

That should send Bentley, Cristal and Fabrege egg stocks soaring this morning

Greek Fire on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Good job report for America. Bad news for the far right.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

7.8%….. for now.

What a crock!

ooonaughtykitty on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Gumby? Want to talk about how Scott Walker has no chance?

Wait, sorry…..that was your last mistake, not this one.

itsspideyman on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Well if people of this Nation are that damn dumb that they
actually believe this pixie dust, then we’re effed anyway….

ToddPA on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Looks like Dear Leader just won a second term. Most people never look below the top line numbers, despite their complete fabrication.

Tuari on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I certainly hope we start talking about the participation rate, since the rate being below 8% is all smoke and mirrors. Count the people who stopped looking and we are still near 12%.

The ad should say “The people the Obama administration doesn’t count anymore: If you couldn’t find a job and stopped looking, the Obama administration doesn’t think you count anymore. If you did count, the unemployment rate is 11.5%.”

goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

the economy must be getting better
-low information voter who only watches the alphabet networks

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

debate? what debate?

sesquipedalian on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

GREAT NEWS!!!!

Look for 6.8% in November.

ex Dem from Miami on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

This may backfire. Manipulating it to that low that quickly will probably cause more people to look for work and then guess what? Surprise, the rate is back up above 8% right before the election.

I mean come on team Obama, if you are going to manipulate, at least make it a little more believable. 7.9%, okay, but 7.8%? Now you’re just getting desperate.

MobileVideoEngineer on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Lolol. Why can’t Romney and the far right ever get a break?

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

…they’re busy singing DAISY HotLips…instead of humming everyone else!

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

What was his promise when he did the stimulus – it would NOT go above 5%?

stenwin77 on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

…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…

Does anyone believe anything coming out of this White House? A drop of .3? In one month? That has to be some adjustment.

Mitoch55 on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

The ad should say “The people the Obama administration doesn’t count anymore: If you couldn’t find a job and stopped looking, the Obama administration doesn’t think you count anymore. If you did count, the unemployment rate is 11.5%.”

goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

^^^^^^ THIS

gophergirl on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

“Add in the 6.7 million who want a job but aren’t counted as “unemployed”, and the unemployment rate would be 11.6%. Of note, that is higher than any measurable point (i.e. from 1994 on) before March 2009.

Also, U-6 is unchanged at 14.7% as more workers are forced to part-time work.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM”

LOL, like the average voter cares about (or even knows about those stats)!

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

the economy must be getting better
-low information voter who only watches the alphabet networks

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

You’ve got that right.

Southern by choice22 on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I don’t care about the politics of this… this is good news for a lot of people.

Abby Adams on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Why not make it 4.2% and just get it over with…

PatriotRider on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Told ya so.

This will be the big story all morning long and the debate is now a faint memory.

The Consumer Confidence numbers will surge again in october.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Walker is a goner lool :)

jimver on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

7.8%….. for now.

What a crock!

ooonaughtykitty on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

The CPS, on which the unemployment numbers are based, are never adjusted.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Good job report for America. Bad news for the far right.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Look, another low-info voter, who can’t read a jobs report or understand participation rates. Or doesn’t want to….

goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

114,000 jobs created, but unemployment decreased by 456,000?

So they just took 342,000 people out of the workforce to give us that total b.s. rate of 7.8%?

That’s more than a quarter of a million people they just decided don’t count any more.

Caiwyn on October 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

mr swagger in chief will be spinning this ad nauseum

blech

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

We knew that they would get the unemployment rate below 8%. We knew they would do this for him.

djl130 on October 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

This was an Atomic Bomb Of BULLSH*T dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

FIFY

Southern by choice22 on October 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

…POLE!

KOOLAID2 on October 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Do you realize how incredibly low our collective expectations have become in this country? For the first time in YEARS, the (fake and manipulated) unemployment rate drops below 8%.

Whoopee!

Remember when Republican presidents got CRUSHED when unemployment got anywhere close to say… oh… 5%.

Sugar Land on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

I don’t care about the politics of this… this is good news for a lot of people.

Abby Adams on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Yeah…it’s great news for all those people that lost their $100,000 jobs and now have $40,000 jobs…

PatriotRider on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Since when does 114000 jobs added move the number so much when we need 150000 jobs just to keep up with population growth? It’s just too easy to massage the numbers of the phone survey.

MJZZZ on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

October meet Surprise

Southern by choice22 on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

LOL, like the average voter cares about (or even knows about those stats)!

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

If Teh SCOAMF were Republican, those, along with the disappointing 114K jobs added, would be the numbers the ‘Rat Presstitute Organs would be repeating long and hard until the average voter cared about them.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Good news for the country and the President!
Bad news for those who want to see the America fail because they hate President Obama.

chumpThreads on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

The decline could help Obama, who is coming off a disappointing debate against Mitt Romney.

Thanks Assholiated Press for your objective reporting./

Brat on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

“Add in the 6.7 million who want a job but aren’t counted as “unemployed”, and the unemployment rate would be 11.6%. Of note, that is higher than any measurable point (i.e. from 1994 on) before March 2009.

Also, U-6 is unchanged at 14.7% as more workers are forced to part-time work.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM”

LOL, like the average voter cares about (or even knows about those stats)!

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Much like the ‘Walker is a goner’ atomic bomb lol :)

jimver on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

What a crock… They are shameless and will do anything to get his disaster reelected. The numbers in this report make absolutely no sense at all!

crazywater on October 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

LOL, like the average voter cares about (or even knows about those stats)!

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Yeah. Just like Harry Reid has “sources.” Made up sources, made up numbers. All this is is a bunch of accounting tricks.

Mitoch55 on October 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

The number of people who ldropped out of the labor force is nauseating.

Philly on October 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

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

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

From the cnbc article. They fudged the numbers to get what they wanted. Surprise!

conservative pilgrim on October 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I don’t care about the politics of this… this is good news for a lot of people.

Abby Adams on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

If it were true – you have to look at the people who have just given up that they don’t count anymore.

gophergirl on October 5, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Ever notice that the regular posters are here and the trolls disappear while Obama is getting spanked?

itsspideyman on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

How many stopped looking? Enough to bring the rate down? Heck of a job, Barry. Nice recovery.

Greek Fire on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Good job report for America. Bad news for the far right.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

I’m guessing you didn’t actually look at the report or anything behind the shallow, top-line number. If you did, you’d know this can in no way be called a “good job report.”

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

You wish.

DRayRaven on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

I don’t care about the politics of this… this is good news for a lot of people.

Abby Adams on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

seriously?

Add in the 6.7 million who want a job but aren’t counted as “unemployed”, and the unemployment rate would be 11.6%. Of note, that is higher than any measurable point (i.e. from 1994 on) before March 2009.

Also, U-6 is unchanged at 14.7% as more workers are forced to part-time work.

Steve Eggleston on October 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM

What was that you were saying about good news?

goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Look, another low-info voter, who can’t read a jobs report or understand participation rates. Or doesn’t want to….
goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

All the leading indicators were strong fool. Participation rate went up, thr aug report was also revised upward. Too bad for you champ. Congrats America. We got more work to do.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

How the h3ll do you only add 114K jobs, yet rate drops to 7.8? Inquiring minds want to know……

Renee on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Easy. Didn’t the BLS say they found a few hundred thousand jobs they didn’t count over the last 12-18 months? Throw that in there and you have the lower number. Still terrible and still a pathetic representation of the employment picture. I don’t think this hurts Romney. 114k jobs is below population growth and is not what a recovery looks like. Bush had better jobs numbers in the months leading up to his reelection bid and Kerry still almost pulled it out.

adurb44 on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

7.8% is better than 8%…let’s celebrate…

right2bright on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Just before an election, what do you expect? Reliability? Honesty? Veracity? We’re talking Obama and Valerie Jarrett.Another Chicago fix. Ironically these phony figures will be adjusted to over 8 % but you’ll need a microscope to read the fine print.

MaiDee on October 5, 2012 at 8:46 AM

it makes no sense
-morning joe

i agree with ya

cmsinaz on October 5, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Why not just say the unemployment rate is 3%? If people are going to believe 7.8% they’re stupid enough to believe the rate is 3%.

Capitalist Infidel on October 5, 2012 at 8:46 AM

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

If you even slightly believe this number, you’re a bigger fool than you let on, and that’s saying quite a lot.

Gingotts on October 5, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Yeah, trolls….Walker is gone, blah, blah, blah.

itsspideyman on October 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Any guesses on the November number?

SAZMD on October 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Ths is great news for those who support dear leader and want to will blindly swallow lies and untruths so long as America isn’t being run by the evil rethuglicans!

This is bad news if you support honest government and a free people.

Skywise on October 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

All the leading indicators were strong fool. Participation rate went up, thr aug report was also revised upward. Too bad for you champ. Congrats America. We got more work to do.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Try again:

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.

Too bad for you champ.

goflyers on October 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

@justin_hart

Of the 873,000 jobs added… 600,000 are part-time jobs.

Flora Duh on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

7.8% still sucks. And as we all know, the number will be adjusted back up to 8%+, I just wonder when they will do that. Even though it probably won’t be before the next debate Romney/Ryan will have an answer for this.

mrsmwp on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

This was an Atomic Bomb dropped on the Romney campaign this morning.

gumbyandpokey on October 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Funny how idiots think unemployment over 7.5% and could still be considered 8% with the way government rounds up anyway is a good thing. It’s okay to round 4.56 trillion up to 5 trillion, but you better not dare round 7.8% up to 8%.

Wow…

MobileVideoEngineer on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Looks like Dear Leader just won a second term. Most people never look below the top line numbers, despite their complete fabrication.
Tuari on October 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Yeah right. Everyone who fills up the gas tank, buys groceries, pays heating & electric bills knows this economy is rotten. No unemployment number fudging alters that reality. Let them rah-rah a magical improvement of numbers. It’s still high.

conservative pilgrim on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

“The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work rose 7.5 percent to 8.6 million.”

What a bunch of BS these jobs reports are.

Priscilla on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Yeah, trolls….Walker is gone, blah, blah, blah.

itsspideyman on October 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

By the way, do you remember what they were saying on here Wednesday night?

Yeah, I don’t either… oddly quiet then, they were…

Gingotts on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

@justin_hart

Of the 873,000 jobs added… 600,000 are part-time jobs.
Flora Duh on October 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

My company keeps hiring contractors when they need more help. No benefits and they can be let go at a moment’s notice.

Not real secure there.

gophergirl on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Of course. The Romney camp must’ve expected the drop, because at the rally last night Romney talked about what the real unemployment number is, and why it’s been creeping downward (by people leaving the workforce).

And anyone thinking the Obama camp can cheer this is kidding themselves.

changer1701 on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

This is another horrible jobs report. We need 150k just to break EVEN. We are getting further behind with employment.

Ta111 on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Bullsh*t.
Kevin71 on October 5, 2012 at 8:37 AM

You didn’t say that loudly enough.

BULLSH!T

Look for President Chauncey Gardener to thump his chest with this bogus figure in the next debate.

And then watch President Romney beat him like a rented mule with the real numbers behind the government lies.

turfmann on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Rush called it a year ago.

RedRedRice on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

You can’t look at this with any measure of seriousness. Mid-year adjustments? How convenient. More people looking for work? Really? That would increase unemployment. And 114k… less than population growth.

This is about headlines. This is about tracking polls. This is about mitigating a miserable debate performance.

This is a lie.

BKeyser on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Renee on October 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

The number includes only people who the government considers to be actively looking for work. Half a million people dropped out of workforce. That brought the rate down. 114K does not even keep up with population growth.

And oh… This is debate season… expect a lot of spin.

antisocial on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Ryan needs to break down these numbers next week. Explain in a way only he can.

gophergirl on October 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

All the leading indicators were strong fool. Participation rate went up, thr aug report was also revised upward. Too bad for you champ. Congrats America. We got more work to do.

HotAirLib on October 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

You’re exactly right – positive economic indicators 30 days out from an election always lead to the incumbent getting a second term. Which is why mine was so successful Thanks for the support.

George H. W. Bush

volnation on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Nobody wants to root against economic recovery, just don’t spit on our heads and tell us it’s raining okay?

Even the low info voter without a job still understands s/he doesn’t have a job, yet.

CitizenEgg on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Rush- “Don’t doubt me.”

redridinghood on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

So once again we have 4 people leaving the workforce for every job created. But that’s good for SCOAMF…

Praise Obamam, he’s brought the rate down below 8%!!!

PetecminMd on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Numbers manipulated or not, most people will never know. We are destined to have Obama for another 4 years. He has proven he can get away with anything.

bucsox79 on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Good news for the country and the President!
Bad news for those who want to see the America fail because they hate President Obama.

chumpThreads on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

America failed when they elected this imbecile as a president and when idiots such as yourself got so brainwashed to the point of believing the fake numbers this admin comes up with …go crawl back into your hole, turd…

jimver on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

this is good news for a lot of people

Good news for 114,000 people. Bad news for 456,000. So … win?!?

SaveFarris on October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Roughly as believable as Ahmedin$@&d’s assertion that Iran is completely homosexual-free.

Greek Fire on October 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Jack Welch tweeted just now: “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

I agree. The 7.8% doesn’t pass the smell test. We have a President corrupt enough to rig economic numbers.

WannabeAnglican on October 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 8