U.S. Job Market Dodges Blow From Government Shutdown

Job Seekers Attend West Palm Beach Florida Career Fair
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in October as employers shrugged off a government shutdown, suggesting the budget standoff had a more limited impact on the economy than initially feared.

Employers added 204,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, however rose to 7.3 percent from September's nearly five-year low of 7.2 percent.

The department said there had been no "discernible" impact on payrolls from the 16-day federal government shutdown, adding that it had received an above average response rate from employers to its survey.

The report also showed 60,000 more jobs created in September and August than previously reported, suggesting that the economy had upward momentum heading into the shutdown last month.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 125,000 in October and the unemployment rate ticking up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.3 percent.

Last month's job gains pushed them above the 190,000 average for the past 12 months. But there was some bad news as more people dropped out the labor force, pushing the participation rate to 62.8 percent, the lowest level since March 1978.

The department said the drop in the participation rate was not related to the government shutdown as furloughed government workers remained in the labor force.

The private sector accounted for all the job gains last month, with government payrolls shrinking 8,000.

Despite the better-than expected payrolls count, that is unlikely to change expectations of slower economic growth in the fourth quarter, given that consumer spending slackened and business inventories rose in the July-September period.

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chris1011

No middle wage jobs? None? tell that to my employees who are operating a dozen CNC machining centers, and we are expanding from that. I'll tell you why most cannot find a job, and why we have a hard time finding qualified machinists. Everybody wants to go to college to get a cushy desk job. They don't know basic manufacturing skills like which end of a screwdriver is used to tighten a screw. They can't read a blueprint, don't know how to read a dial gauge, etc etc. Used to be in my day that even in grade school they had shop classes where you learned how to measure things and make stuff. Not today. Only in China, and that's where the manufacturing jobs will go if we keep this up.

November 08 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to chris1011's comment
willypfistergash

gosh chrissy. You make a pretty good argument against raising the minimum wage.

November 08 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to willypfistergash's comment
chris1011

It takes a certain type of muddled thinking to conclude that we are better off economically and morally as a society with uneducated, unhealthy and starving people.

November 08 2013 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Brian Corvello

Job growth is actually up.

Of course, like always, the Republicans are trying to turn this into a bad thing, with the usual stuff, like "how many of the new jobs are temporary" and "how many are minimum wage positions" and all the stuff we've heard before EVERY time there's been a good jobs report since 2008.

When the unemployment rate goes down, they say "How much of that is due to the people who gave up looking?"

Honestly... It's getting old. I remember the freefall it was in before then, when it was losing 70,000 a month, something they never mention.

November 08 2013 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brian Corvello's comment
willypfistergash

Where do you get your info brian?

November 08 2013 at 11:26 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
gtmayer

When you demonize corporations & profits that's what you get. Barry the most golfed & vacationed president.

November 08 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gtmayer's comment
teaparty2implode

Sorry, Bush holds the record for taking the most vacations.

November 08 2013 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teaparty2implode's comment
betty_brock

Working vacations are NOT like golfing vacations.

November 12 2013 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
willypfistergash

And hugobama has already outspent him. Hugo's golf days should be counted as vacation days.

November 08 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
majbjb

Let's overlook the fact that these "gov't statistics" tell us that huge numbers of jobs were created, yet unemployment overall rose. And by this I mean you must overlook the fact that this logically means many more jobs were "lost" than were "created" over this time span and this is a NEGATIVE thing. But let's pretend we're all mindless progressives and we're deliriously happy with all this POSITIVE hype/spin. And if we're happy we have to then logically conclude that the sequester and the gov't shutdown were all good things that led to these POSTIVE statistics. So guess we have to applaud the Republicans who all progressives believe brought us both the sequester and the shut down. Way to go Republicans ! Keep up the good work and let's shut this puppy down some more and get even better stats next month !!!!

November 08 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
JonLng5

Lmao. The unemployment rate went up and you paint is as a good thing. Thats like, "a tornado destroys New York City, but lets be happy about it because Boston was not hit" What morons in the media

November 08 2013 at 10:37 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
itisny

The Aboslute WORST economic recovery in U.S. History,. Outstanding work Low Informed Voters, You've done good, NOT! by the by I Do Not Believe the Liberal (Censoring) Media newsbusters.org the 7.3 ONLY reflects People Collecting Unemployment Benefits, REAL UE more like OVER 15%+++

November 08 2013 at 10:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to itisny's comment
willypfistergash

Whether or not you are collecting UE benefits has no bearing on the unemployment rate. If you are actively seeking employment you are counted.

November 08 2013 at 11:29 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
reds8163

I'm so sick of hearing this....employers are only hiring seasonal help! we don't MAKE anything here. What of all the factories shut down for industry, textile....we can't freeking survive without CHINA. there are NO middle wage jobs available. work 2 or 3 if you're lucky and you might get by. healthcare sucks....you're better of dead.

November 08 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cgmurphysr2012

And how many of those "jobs" are just temporary holiday jobs that will end in January?

November 08 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
TB

...and 980,000 quit even looking for work in October.

November 08 2013 at 10:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Christine

There was a hiring surge during August and September. Then, the government shut down. It stopped the upward momentum, and the job market hasn't recovered. Right now, they are just hiring for the holidays. Trying to pass that off as proof that the government shutdown wasn't a big deal will not work for very long.

November 08 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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