Economy Adds 103K Jobs, Rate Stays 9.1 Percent

unemployment report September 2011WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy added 103,000 jobs in September, a burst of hiring that followed a sluggish summer. The figure at least temporarily calms fears of a new recession that have hung over Wall Street and the nation for weeks.

The Labor Department also said Friday that the nation added more jobs than first estimated in July and August. The government's first reading had said the economy added zero jobs in August.

The unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent.

While the report was clearly better than feared, it also showed the economy is not gaining much momentum, said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.

"It moves you away from the ledge," he said.

There were some signs that business activity is increasing. The temporary help industry added almost 20,000 jobs, and the length of the average workweek increased slightly. Wages also rose a bit.

More hiring and better pay could add up to more consumer spending. That accounts for 70 percent of the economy. When people spend more money, it generates demand for businesses, which hire more workers.

The private sector added 137,000 jobs, up from August but below July's revised total. The economy lost 34,000 government jobs. Local governments in particular cut teachers and other school employees.

Among the industries that added jobs in September were construction, retail, temporary help services and health care. Manufacturing cut jobs for a second straight month.

The report showed that there are two ways of looking at the economy. On one hand, the news was encouraging for economists. Some of them had feared the economy would lose jobs, raising the risk of a devastating second recession.

But everyday Americans can't take much solace from that. Unemployment has been stuck at around 9 percent for more than two years. The economy has to add roughly 125,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth, more to bring down unemployment.

The economy returned in September to something closer to the job growth of earlier this year. In February, March and April, the nation added an average of more than 200,000 jobs a month.

But then manufacturing slowed, consumer confidence crashed, and Washington was caught in gridlock - first over whether to raise the nation's borrowing limit and then on how best to get the economy going.

Meanwhile, hiring slowed dramatically. The economy added only 53,000 jobs in May and 20,000 in June. The figures out Friday showed hiring improve in July, slowed slightly in August, and improved again in September.

Still, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress earlier this week that the economic recovery was "close to faltering," with slow job growth dragging down consumer confidence.

Bernanke, speaking in unusually blunt terms, said he could not blame Americans for being frustrated at the financial industry "for getting us into this mess" and at Washington for not coming up with a strong response.

President Barack Obama, adopting a combative tone as he prepares for next year's re-election campaign, has challenged Congress to get behind his $447 billion jobs bill or risk being run out of Washington.

The Obama plan aims to jolt the economy but cutting taxes and increasing spending on schools, roads and other public projects. He has proposed paying for it in part by raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Nearly half of the job gains last month came from the rehiring of 45,000 Verizon employees who had been on strike.

August's figures were revised up to show a gain of 57,000 jobs, up from a previous estimate of zero. July was revised up to 127,000 jobs, from 85,000.

More Americans are working part time but would prefer full-time work. When these people are added to those without jobs who have given up looking, the so-called "underemployment" rate rose to 16.5 percent from 16.2 percent.

The faltering economy has led many employers to reduce hiring. In the first half of this year, the economy grew at the slowest pace since the recession ended in June 2009. Since then, Europe's debt crisis and stock market declines have heightened fears that the economy will struggle to grow enough to avoid a recession.

Next: Give Thanks To The Labor Movement

Stories from Daily Finance

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400,000 plus laid off this month and every month since Jan 2008, and another 400,000 off the long term unemployment rolls this month and every month since May of 2009... But unemployment holds steady... One of the biggest things that needs to be reformed in this country is lying, manipulating, snake in the grass, journalist and reporters... they are the ones fueling the crooked communist in this country!

October 10 2011 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This Joke is getting old already!

October 10 2011 at 4:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny they give us what they think is good news jobs, but dont tell us twice the amount lost their jobs

October 10 2011 at 4:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to susan's comment

That's because the new jobs number is NET.

In other words, jobs created - jobs lost = new jobs.

Literally for decades, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost every single month. This is because the economy is dynamic. Yesterday's jobs aren't necessarily todays, and today's aren't necessarily tomorrows.

The question is how many MORE jobs are created than are those lost. That's what the 103,000 represented in September.

October 10 2011 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looking at the present situation an back 2 years none of these job services is worth a damn so you might need a make over yourself.

October 10 2011 at 3:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Play it on the safe side have your marshmellows on hand so when they riot from coast to coast you'll be able to roast some with out turning on your stove!

October 10 2011 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keep believing these miscalculated and manipulated job numbers an your nose will be longer than Pinoccio's .

Here is a thought will you still be working for AOL or are you next to be eliminated? Odds say you'll never see next Labor Day. Not so funky now ey bro's?

October 10 2011 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live across the street from one of the returing Verizon employees that was out on strike. He personally is tired of the government using his striking comrads to fraudulently pump the numbers of hired workers!
He is in the landline operations of Verizon which matters if you have Dial Up as I do.

October 10 2011 at 3:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment

Is your neighbor also getting tired of the pigs flying over his house?

October 10 2011 at 8:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

LIES!! BIG LIES!!!! About 45,000 jobs were verizon strikers going back to WORK What crap again from the pos nedia

October 10 2011 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Want Americans working?

Get rid of Illegal Immigrant Labor and hire American workers and pay them decent wages and they will pay more in taxes and cause less strain on social services then less paid workers that can't afford health insurance, or a visit to the doctor, etc.

October 10 2011 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There were no jobs added. Obama cooked the books once again.

October 10 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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