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An Ugly Employment Report - 10/8/15

Yikes, that was an ugly employment report.  The U.S. economy created just one hundred and forty two thousand jobs in September, a number that fell well short of expectations and could mean that the Federal Reserve will further delay raising interest rates.  The estimate for August was revised downward from an already lackluster one hundred and seventy three thousand positions to one hundred and thirty six thousand. 

The official national unemployment rate remains at five point one percent, but only because another three hundred and fifty thousand people left the labor force in September.  The U.S. labor force participation rate is down to sixty two point four percent, a level not observed since the nineteen seventies.  Wages were flat, and the average work week actually dipped a bit to thirty four point five hours.  Yuck. 

As reported by CNBC among others, job creation in September was skewed toward part-time positions.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the teenage jobless rate declined last month, from sixteen point nine percent to sixteen point three percent.  It is conceivable that job growth will pick up over the next few months as retailers begin hiring more aggressively in anticipation of the holiday shopping season.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.