Hiring increases in September, but unemployment remains stagnant
In a rare instance of good news about the economy, the U.S. Department of Labor announced this week that the country added 103,000 jobs in September. In addition, the Labor Department revised its job estimates for July and August, stating that there were actually about 127,000 and 57,000 jobs added in July and August, respectively, instead of the earlier reports of 85,000 and zero.
However, the national unemployment rate remained stagnant at 9.1 percent (and even higher in Georgia and several other states). This means that millions of Americans continue to battle unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and the many other negative side effects of the still-struggling economy.
Although any increase is better than none, economists say that job growth is not happening fast enough. The economy needs to add 125,000 jobs per month to simply keep up with population growth. In order to make a significant dent in unemployment, employers will need to add many more jobs.
In September, the private sector added 137,000 jobs in industries such as construction, retail, health care and temporary health services. Government jobs, however, declined by 34,000, many of which were teaching and other school employee job cuts made by local governments. Manufacturing also lost jobs in September for the second month in a row.
Another indicator that the economy is still far from where it needs to be is the number of people who are working part-time jobs when they would prefer to be working full-time. The so-called “underemployment” rate rose to 16.5 percent last month, from 16.2 percent the previous month.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Economy added 103,000 jobs in September,” Christopher S. Rugaber, Oct. 7, 2011