Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 22
October Job Gains Anemic
The U.S. added only 80,000 jobs in October, although the unemployment rate inched down to 9% from September's 9.1%, according to a report by the Labor Department this morning (Nov. 4). Economists had expected a gain of 90,000 jobs with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged.
The private sector created 104,000 jobs, but governments at all levels lost 24,000. Governments have shed 323,000 workers in the last year, and as politicians consider more spending cutbacks, there is a fear that this figure will continue growing, says the New York Times.
The nation would have to add 250,000 jobs a month for more than two years to bring the unemployment rate back down to its pre-recession level of 6%, noted MarketWatch.com. And it takes additions of around 100,000 jobs a month just to keep up with the natural growth of the labor force.
Adjusted for inflation, wages fell 2.4% in the third quarter, the government reported yesterday. American consumers continue to fall behind.
There was some slightly good news. Jobs growth was revised upward by about 100,000 in August and September combined. Hourly earnings crawled up 0.2% in October.
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