Jobs report: 171K jobs added, jobless rate rises to 7.9%

posted at 8:31 am on November 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like a wash from today’s jobs report. The US economy added 171,000 jobs, slightly more than expected, but the jobless rate rose to 7.9% as the household survey adjusted from last month’s outlier. The October survey had 269,000 fewer part-time workers, almost half of the additional 582,000 added in September:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade. …

Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September. …

The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent. Total employment rose by 410,000 over the month. The employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.8 percent, following an increase of 0.4 percentage point in September.

Economists expected an additional 125,000 jobs in today’s report, so this did beat expectations.  Otherwise, it’s not terribly remarkable, and the bump upward in the jobless rate more or less counters whatever positive impact the jobs addition has.  This is not enough to argue for a sustained jobs recovery or the beginning of a growth cycle; we saw better numbers in the first quarter, and those didn’t get sustained, either.

The U-6 number didn’t move much from the previous month.  It was 14.7%, and it’s now 14.6%.  When Obama took office, it was 14.2%; six months ago, it was 14.5%.  The overall unemployment situation isn’t improving significantly at all.  The number of people not in the workforce declined by 269,000, but at 88.341 million, it’s still higher than every month this year before August, and it’s 2.28 million higher than it was a year ago.

The participation rates are similarly depressed.  The civilian population participation rate, which measures workforce participation in relation to population size, moved up from 63.6% o 63.8%.  At the beginning of the Obama term, that was 65.7%, and it was 65.7% at the start of the Obama recovery in June 2009.  The employment-population rate, which measures employment in relation to population size, rose one-tenth of a point to 58.8%.  That was 60.6% at the start of Obama’s term, and was 59.4% at the start of the Obama recovery.  We’re still in an unemployment trough, and 171,000 jobs isn’t nearly enough to make up that kind of ground, not even on a consistent basis, which we’ve hardly seen.

CNBC noted those metrics in an oddly positive light:

Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 125,000 new jobs and a steadying of the unemployment rate at 7.8 percent. Nomura Securities predicted the rate would fall to 7.7 percent, but most expected no change.

Most of the job creation came in the services sector, with a gain of 150,000, while government employment rolls saw a collective decrease of 13,000.

A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those employed part-time who would rather work full-time ticked lower to 14.6 percent.

The labor force participation rate, a key metric that measures those working and looking for jobs, edged higher to 63.8 percent after wallowing around 31-year lows for the past several months.

Those numbers are still “wallowing around 31-year lows.”

James Pethokoukis puts it in perspective:

https://twitter.com/JimPethokoukis/status/264349483637297152

If we were seeing a late surge in real jobs growth — say, 250K+ per month for six months, the 7.9% jobless rate wouldn’t matter.  On the other hand, I’m not sure that people absorb the actual number as much as they absorb their personal experience in the economy — which is why the U-6 number probably matters more, even if most people never hear about it.

Update: Via Drudge, Noel Sheppard notices that incomes declined slightly last month:

The Labor Department reported Friday that despite 184,000 jobs being added to non-farm payrolls in October, average hourly earnings for such employees edged down by 1 cent to $23.58.

Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees also dropped by 1 cent to $19.79.

This continues a trend reported by the Census Bureau in August finding that since the recovery began in June 2009, median household incomes have fallen 4.8 percent adjusted for inflation.

The decline in income relates directly to the health of the labor market.  In a more competitive market, incomes will increase.  This is as good a gauge as any, and again one that workers experience much more personally than U-3 or U-6 numbers.


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KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Gumby….
May get a job soon..

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

ATOMIC!

cozmo on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Yep…

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

spin away lsm

170000 will be revised down, guaranteed

look at what happened last month…

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

It increased.

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

7.9 eh? The media will round it off to 7. How quaint that it didn’t hit 8.

Dingbat63 on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Gumby got a rise..
Just like the unemployment rate..

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Ginger dollars for everyone, be sure to bring your wheelbarrows full of cash.

Bishop on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Barely keeping pace with population growth and an uptick in the unemployment rate is a great jobs report? I’d hate to see your idea of a bad report.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Drudge isn’t taking the bait, still leading with Barry and dumpster divers.

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Hahahah, you are demented unemployment rose, imbecile. That”s the end of obunga, yesss!!!

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Looks like we may have finally hit bottom. Sounds like a good campaign slogan for Obama.

topdog on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

The “undecided” have become “decided”

Gumby is voting for Obama.

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

All you unemployed are actually employed now. What, you didn’t know that? Yeah, you are, so go out and…work…or whatever.

Bishop on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

noticed that too….sandy will drown out this report methinks

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Drudge isn’t taking the bait, still leading with Barry and dumpster divers.

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Its there. Went up right at 7:30.

cozmo on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Obama wanted the unemployment rate to go up? Are you one of those conspiracy people who thinks our Leader actually wants the country to fail?

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Of course MSLSD are spinning this heroically.

tru2tx on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Looks like we may have finally hit bottom. Sounds like a good campaign slogan for Obama.

topdog on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

The problem is we’re stuck at the bottom. This is as good as it gets under Obama. When’s the last time we had 300,000 jobs created in a month(Census notwithstanding)?

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Hourly earnings over the past year have not kept pace with inflation.

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

HA! I can’t wait for Obama to spin this.

Romney needs to hammer this on the trail.

Patriot Vet on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Only a left wing loon would consider 7.9 a RISE from last month good news…

so…KABOOM!…Goodbye Barry!
Next stop a federal pennitentiary for treason?

Janovus on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

7.9!

I’m not saying the fix is in or anything, but the fix is in. That’s just too darn convenient.

Slade73 on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

I agree. For Obama it was a good report. For any other president in the past 20 years, it’s awful.

;)

lorien1973 on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

171,000 jobs results in 3,000 jobs for each of Obama’s 57 states.

lhuffman34 on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

LIES They lie about jobs,they lie about Benghazi and their enablers the news media lie about the lies.

logman1 on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

should be MSLSD droolers

/more caffeine

tru2tx on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Gumby….
May get a job soon..

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Who would employ that intellectually challenged marionette?

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

HA! I can’t wait for Obama to spin this.

Patriot Vet on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Just watch the trolls for a preview.

cozmo on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Gumby….
May get a job soon..

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

McDonald’s is hiring again?

Happy Nomad on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

How many jobs will be lost in NY and NJ that will be on the Nov report?

docflash on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Great?

heh

Considering it would take 250K new jobs just break even and 300-350k to start making headway in lowering true unemployment. The KABOOM must have been pokey’s morning constitutional.

HoustonRight on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression..

Thanks Obama…
For saving us from The Great Depression..

Oh wait…

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

I agree. For Obama it was a good report. For any other president in the past 20 years, it’s awful.

;)

lorien1973 on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Lol ) expectations :)…

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Four more days.
Four more days.
Four more days.

As pointed out in the headlines, you don’t have Incontinent Joe the VP out there with “Geez! Can’t we just all get along!? We’re purple!” if your internal polls don’t stink on ice.

Marcus on November 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Backward!

JoeHanson on November 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

How is a tic up, good?

hawkdriver on November 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

halperin says gop talking point will be, the rate is higher than when the president took office…

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

We have long term stagnation with inadequate job creation and an unemployment rate well under Obama’s promise of 5.4%. But . . . hold on to your chairs while the left wing media spins the numbers.

rplat on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

we can all thank Dr Pepper for this

Slade73 on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

the headline is that unemployment rises to 7.9%. low info voters aren’t going to dig around for good news in that, gumby. it’s hardly a kaboom of great news for O. any attempt to make it so requires a dizzying amount of spin.

rampage on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Drudge isn’t taking the bait, still leading with Barry and dumpster divers.

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Its there. Went up right at 7:30.

cozmo on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Yeah, but it’s not leading with it…well, not yet anyways…

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

James Pethokoukis: 10.6% Unemployment rate if labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Pathetic.

RedRedRice on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

The only thing that matters is how it plays on the tv news and in the newspapers. And it’s already being spun as great news for Obama.

The wind is completely at Obama’s back now heading into the final weekend.

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM
McDonald’s is hiring again?

Happy Nomad on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Eww, probably wouldn’t hire that one again after it was eating the raw frozen patties in front of the customers.

hawkdriver on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

halperin says gop talking point will be, the rate is higher than when the president took office…

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

:)

but for those suffering :(

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Obama wanted the unemployment rate to go up? Are you one of those conspiracy people who thinks our Leader actually wants the country to fail?

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

You just don’t understand. last month when the U3 number went down it was what mattered. This month it went up so it’s not important, but the payroll numbers are fair so they’re important this month.

You just don’t understand, thankfully we have a paid Obama campaign worker like Gumby to help us out.

I don’t know what we neanderthal Republicans would do without him!

PetecminMd on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Now romney can hammer this in the stretch, the UE increased there is uncertainty, people know the economy is bad.

Out of the job numbers we do not know how many is part time, thats all there is, mostly seasonal help for christmas. The game is up, the UE is now higher then whe he got inaugerated.

Conservative4ev on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

This is excellent under a Socialist and absolutely terrible under a capitalist.

GardenGnome on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

How is a tic up, good?

hawkdriver on November 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM

It’s not, except for in gummo’s world.

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

7.9!

I’m not saying the fix is in or anything, but the fix is in. That’s just too darn convenient.

Slade73 on November 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Charles Payne was on my teevee this morning an he came right out and said that the rate can’t go up to 8.0 for political reasons. He’s not a conspiracy nut. Everyone knows these numbers are being cooked.

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Poor Gumby. The Axlerod Troll Fund will be shut off at 11:59 p.m., November 6th.

kingsjester on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

How many of the jobs are related to the election cycle..surveys..people knocking on doors, phone banks, etc.
Sort of like the uptick in jobs for the census.

Mimzey on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

halperin says gop talking point will be, the rate is higher than when the president took office…

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Even simpler than that, it’s higher than the last month’s one.

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

It’s not, except for in gummo’s world.

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

What else is he going to say?

With this, I would think gumby lost it. But he did that long ago.

cozmo on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

171,000 jobs results in 3,000 jobs for each of Obama’s 57 states.

lhuffman34 on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Isn’t it a little early for high-falutin’ math, you homophobe?

Barky 2013

Bishop on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Electrongod on November 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

yup

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Remember to remind people of this over the weekend folks – unemployment is higher now than it was when Obama took office – and except for a “questionable” report last month, has remained that way for the past 4 years.

Flora Duh on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Hey dumby… the unemployment rate went up not down… spin that…

sandee on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Bishop on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

LOL!

kingsjester on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama and other welfare queens.

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

FIFY

JohnGalt23 on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

BTW, let me preempt jamegumb by noting that Rasmussen has it tied nationally 48-48 this morning. Otherwise he’ll be hijacking every thread with that.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

A non-disasterous jobs report means Romney’s last hope for a “game changer” is gone. The President can point to a steadily improving economy and remind voters that a Romney administration would undo everything.

Romney is finished. The President will be reelected.

chumpThreads on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

But I thought Obama was having these #s rigged…and it goes up?
Jack Welch will have an explanation…right?

verbaluce on November 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Forward?

Sideways?

Kraken on November 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Even simpler than that, it’s higher than the last month’s one.

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

yup

(can hear the lsm come jan 2013, rate is at 7.9%, this spells doom for president romney, why hasn’t he fixed the economy yet…)

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

BTW, let me preempt jamegumb by noting that Rasmussen has it tied nationally 48-48 this morning. Otherwise he’ll be hijacking every thread with that.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

I thought Rass. didn’t come out till 9:30?

sandee on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

See you Tuesday, champ…..

ted c on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Umm.. can we please get that little snot banned already?

Reminder.. Chris Christie wants Romney to lose.

Illinidiva on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Just imagine how many lawyers will be employed after November 7th…

Archivarix on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Ah…Two more Trolls are on the clock…working hard for the last of the Axlerod Troll Fund.

Enjoy it, children. It dries up in Four More Days!!!

kingsjester on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

tied, wow, thought mitt would stay at 50

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I was afraid of seeing today’s Ras. Race has been drifting slowly back to O in WaPo and Ras this week.

Mark1971 on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I thought Rass. didn’t come out till 9:30?

sandee on November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Drudge is teasing it. Is Ras still using a D+5 sample? If so, it’s a meaningless poll anyway.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

A mogul on the black diamond ski slope to hell.

tomg51 on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Like Doughboy said: ti all depends on the make-up of their sampling.

kingsjester on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Remember to remind people of this over the weekend folks – unemployment is higher now than it was when Obama took office – and except for a “questionable” report last month, has remained that way for the past 4 years.

Flora Duh on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Yep:
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

topdog on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Jack Welch will have an explanation…right?

verbaluce on November 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Under state it one month by .4
Next month creep it up .1

GIGO.

Mimzey on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Drudge is teasing it. Is Ras still using a D+5 sample? If so, it’s a meaningless poll anyway.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM

If that’s the case and BO is at 49%, he’s in deep trouble.

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Go peddle that horse crap to your leftist buddies. We have stagnation. The unemployment rate is up and job creation is far below that needed to sustain a viable recovery. And by the way, your messiah promised 5.4% unemployment. In fact he has created long term stagnation that will continue as long as he remains in office and continues to implement his Marxist/socialist policies. So, you and your friends can go do your Kabuki dance for your uninformed followers, but it gets no applause here.

rplat on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Great report for Barry – when graded on the media’s unique Obama Curve.

TarheelBen on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

BTW, let me preempt jamegumb by noting that Rasmussen has it tied nationally 48-48 this morning. Otherwise he’ll be hijacking every thread with that.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

And, that, my friends, is the hurricane bump you guys said wasn’t going to happen.

KABOOM

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

But I thought Obama was having these #s rigged…and it goes up?
Jack Welch will have an explanation…right?
verbaluce on November 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

You know that sinking feeling you are feeling right about now? Yeah, you know the one. Well, imagine that amplified by about 100 times. That is exactly how you will be feeling Tuesday night. Enjoy it. I know the rest of us certainly well.

bluegill on November 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM

the best and worst thing about liberals: their innate cockiness. They will play with numbers and stats and pronounce victory, and then all the people who still aren’t working will toss them out in four days.

Slade73 on November 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM

A non-disasterous jobs report means Romney’s last hope for a “game changer” is gone. The President can point to a steadily improving economy and remind voters that a Romney administration would undo everything.

Romney is finished. The President will be reelected.

chumpThreads on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Non–disastrous, hahaha, only am imbecile democrat can say this. It went up from las month, cretin, but then in your demented world it wouldn’t matter since you probably never had a job in your life, or left your momma’s basement. Obunga is done, kaputski, UE went up since last minth. remember, after the last month report was pubt out there he was i. virginia campaigning and went like ‘never going back’…heh, little did he know that a month later the UE would go back up…

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Forward!!!

Ronnie on November 2, 2012 at 8:52 AM

KABOOM

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Keep your gas problems to yourself.

D+5 Sampling, moron.

kingsjester on November 2, 2012 at 8:52 AM

KABOOM

Great jobs report for Obama

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Obama walks in the door: 7.8%

Election time 2012: 7.9%

Unemployment is higher than when he walked in the door.

BOOM! That’s awesome! It’s working!

Good Lt on November 2, 2012 at 8:52 AM

And, that, my friends, is the hurricane bump you guys said wasn’t going to happen.

KABOOM

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Go defecate somwhere else…

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Why even bother… Romney is going to lose. Thanks for ruining my day with the Ras poll.

Christie wants Romney to lose.

Illinidiva on November 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM

James Pethokoukis James Pethokoukis ‏@JimPethokoukis

If we had a string of months like October, it would take 7 more years to get back to the Bush unemployment low of 4.4%

Flora Duh on November 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Obama’s last, desperate hope for a gamechanger has now evaporated.

Say hello to Pres. Romney.

bluegill on November 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

BTW, let me preempt jamegumb by noting that Rasmussen has it tied nationally 48-48 this morning. Otherwise he’ll be hijacking every thread with that.

Doughboy on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Nothing can stop gumby from being gumby. But, you do realize that this is what Rasmussen did last time around right? Showed Obama with lower than expected results until a few days before the election and eventually brought his totals in line with what the final tally looked lik. This allows him to say “on election day we got it right” while peddling GOP-leaning polls to a hungry conservative base the rest of the election cycle.

libfreeordie on November 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

And, that, my friends, is the hurricane bump you guys said wasn’t going to happen.

KABOOM

gumbyandpokey on November 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I don’t think the plan to politicize that storm is going to work out well for Obama.

“We’re gonna die! We’re gonna freeze! We’ve got 90-year-old people!”

forest on November 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

A non-disasterous jobs report means Romney’s last hope for a “game changer” is gone. The President can point to a steadily improving economy and remind voters that a Romney administration would undo everything.

Romney is finished. The President will be reelected.

chumpThreads on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM

The logic of the left is a distorted phenomenon without equal.

rplat on November 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

You’re right KJ

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Looks like we may have finally hit bottom. Sounds like a good campaign slogan for Obama.

topdog on November 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Ha, camera cuts to Obama digging a hole and then announces he has hit the bottom….
No where to go but up….

This storm has really hit the Northeast hard…..
It will have effects for years to come.
The effects have not caught up with the cycle yet.

redguy on November 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Who would employ that intellectually challenged marionette?

jimver on November 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

How about the State Department?

But I’m still without power and freezing. But Obama got his photo op and that’s what counts. BTW, the gas lines are getting ugly.

njrob on November 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

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