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Reuters: Hiring Up Unexpectedly (Jobless Rate Up)

From the perpetually blind-sided reporters at Reuters:

U.S. jobs market dodges blow from government shutdown

By Lucia Mutikani | November 8, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a partial government shutdown, suggesting the economy was on firm footing and raising the prospect the Federal Reserve may soon decide to temper its bond-buying stimulus.

Man are we dizzy. And we just read the spin, we don’t have to write it.

Employers added 204,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, and 60,000 more jobs were created in September and August than previously reported, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The unemployment rate, however, rose to 7.3 percent last month from September’s nearly five-year low of 7.2 percent as federal workers were idled.

What more evidence does anyone need? The unemployment rate is racist.

The department said there had been no "discernible" impact on the payroll figures from the 16-day shutdown, adding that it had received an above-average response rate in its survey of employers…

Oh, our sides. Maybe we need more government shut downs.

But all of the advance work that the AP and the rest of the news media have been doing for the last few days in preparation for this report was all for naught.

In addition, the jobs report showed a surprisingly large number of Americans dropped out the labor force, pushing the participation rate to 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978…

Which should have driven the unemployment rate down. Given our perverse system of measurements.

The department said the 0.4 percentage point drop in the participation rate, which was the largest since December 2009, was not related to the government shutdown as furloughed workers remained in the labor force.

And we will hear nothing about this drop in the media.

Those workers were also considered on the government’s payroll because they received back pay, but they were counted as unemployed in the smaller survey of households. That helped fuel an unusually large decline in that jobs gauge, and pushed the unemployment rate higher – a move economists expect to reverse.

There is no reason for that. As we mentioned yesterday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website says about the household survey: "Who is counted as unemployed? — Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work."

None of the furloughed government workers ‘did not have a job.’ None of them were ‘looking for work.’ And none of them ‘were currently available for work,’ because they already had a job.

But naturally the Associated Press jumps on this, too:

U.S. adds 204,000 jobs, jobless rate up to 7.3 percent

November 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, an unexpected burst of hiring during a month in which the federal government was partially shut down for 16 days.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September, likely because furloughed federal workers were counted as unemployed. The report noted that the shutdown did not affect total jobs…

Even though the report says the shutdown didn’t not affect jobs. Which is exactly what we said yesterday.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Reuters: Hiring Up Unexpectedly (Jobless Rate Up)”

  1. Woo-hoo! More six hour per week jobs created at Jack-n-Box!


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