U.S. Job Growth Lost Momentum Before Budget Fight Hit

Economy (In this Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, photo, a sign attracts job-seekers during a job fair at the Marriott Hotel in Colonie,
Mike Groll/AP
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers added far fewer than expected workers in September, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy that supported the Federal Reserve's decision to maintain its monthly bond purchases.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 148,000 last month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. While the job count for August was revised to show more positions created than previously reported, employment gains in July were the weakest since June 2012.

But there was some silver lining in the report, with the unemployment rate dropping a tenth of a percentage point to 7.2 percent, the lowest level since November 2008.

The jobless rate is derived from a separate survey of households, which showed an increase in employment last month.

The closely watched monthly employment report was released more than two weeks later than originally scheduled because of the partial shutdown of the federal government earlier this month.

Signs the economy lost steam even before the budget fight could rattle financial markets.

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Economists estimate the 16-day government shutdown shaved as much as 0.6 percentage point off annualized fourth-quarter gross domestic product, through reduced government output and damage to both consumer and business confidence.

Officials at the Federal Reserve are likely to hold off any decision on scaling back the U.S. central bank's bond buying until the extent of the economic damage from the budget fight is clearer.

Fed officials will meet next week to discuss monetary policy, on Oct. 29-30. They surprised markets last month by sticking to their $85 billion per month bond-buying pace, saying they wanted to see more evidence of a strong recovery.

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Now, many economists think the Fed will hold off on scaling back economic stimulus until next year.

Economists fear that lawmakers will engage in another bruising round early next year when Congress must agree on a budget to fund the government and once again raise the nation's borrowing limit.

The pattern of employment gains in September was mixed last month, with government payrolls increasing 22,000 jobs after rising 32,000 in August.

The leisure and hospitality industry shed the most jobs since December 2009. There was a small bounce in information sector payrolls, which dropped in August as the motion picture industry shed workers.

Construction payrolls increased 20,000, which could ease fears of a leveling off in home building.

Manufacturing sector added only 2,000 jobs, while retail employment increased 20,800.

Other details of the employment report were mildly encouraging, with average hourly earnings increased three cents in September. The length of the average workweek held steady at 34.5 hours.

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Just remember the next time a young snotty worker abuses older workers their own healthcare insurance will go up so lay off the discrimination or pay up!

October 22 2013 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I see a lot of posters blame ACA it wasn't the law it was 40+ attempts by the tea party nuts to repeal it. If they had spent all the time they wasted trying to de-fund the ACA on actual issues we could have 1/2 the bridges in the US rebuilt by now, same sex marriage would be nationality legal, and our economy would be doing better. But no blame a law that didn't take effect till about a month ago instead of the idiots who couldn't get it something that was suppose so bad for America repealed in over 40 tries. Need a rule in congress after the 10'th time you fail you have to wait 2 terms before bringing it up again. You loyal tea party posters out there tell me honestly you don't think that if they tabled the ACA argument that congress couldn't have gotten a lot of other things passed during the same span of time. Wish you looney's would actually listen to your politicians instead of just fox news' talking points. They said plain as day that they would shut down the government for no other purpose than to make Obama and the ACA look bad. I wouldn't be surprised if it was tea party members who picked the Canadian guy to make the website maybe it was Ted Cruz getting a friend some work.

October 22 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe they can fool the terrorists but the Americans born here are not as ignorant to swallow these air brushed reports.

October 22 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Right suddenly there is a jobs boom for workers young enough and capable of pulling heavy pallets and unloading trucks. With all the older workers being pushed into the NOT IN THE LABOR FORCE the bottles of Champaign will be foaming over.

October 22 2013 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many part time jobs only pay minimum wage which puts that person in the employed catagory, and below the poverty level, and therefore eligible for social welfare programs which are supported by the taxpayers. It also means that there will be no benefits programs provided for these people other than Obamacare. Hence big business can realize more profit with fewer employees (human services dept.)

October 22 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
not all Bush's fault

The numbers are false. They are based on applicants and exclude applicants fifty and older. Obama has stated anyone fifty and older is discriminated against when applying for work and the government admits they do nothing about it.
We slip deeper into debt and no true results in the job market. The deep recession was caused in large part by Bill Clinton signing away laws that protected real estate and kept gasoline from being traded as a commodity. Thanks to Bill, the banks made billion on collapsed housing loans and its easy to see gasoline prices are no longer based on supply and demand. The Democrats and their ultra liberal politics are ruining this country. Too many people who really think the working class should give the poor everything on a platter!
Wake up people, Socialism is knocking at the door!!

October 22 2013 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

U.S. Job Growth Lost Momentum Before Budget Fight Hit

October 22 2013 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to crazychris379's comment

They must be in love with Debbie Downer because they sure don't care what happens to the unemployed baby boomers.

October 22 2013 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

These insignificant changes are only a strategic illusion created by Liberals (media incl.). The implementation of Obamacare will kill more jobs in the coming months, and unemplyement will increase dramatically. Whether reported in truth or not by the left mainstream propaganda machine.

October 22 2013 at 10:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Your Momma

Guess this is from the loads of hired seasonal workers.

October 22 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fact that the number ticked down is a ruse and HP should be ashamed for hearlding the drop in the headline. The number has to go up because so many are being removed from the unemployment rolls becacuse they simply quit looking. Also some who were unemployed took P/T work and are now considered employed - albeit underemployed. This entie situation is a joke and with the implementation of Obummercare it is only going to get worse. We used to boast the 40 work week as the corrupt unions are so quick to remind us was their doing. We now consider 30 hr/wk fully employed. What a loss.

October 22 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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