Diappointing Employment Growth

The BLS numbers are out, and they are significantly below expectations:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend upward in September, increasing by 96,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Over the prior 3 months, payroll employment rose by 103,000 on average. In September, modest job gains occurred in a few service-providing industries.

As the stories I referenced yesterday indicated, expectations were for employment growth of roughly 150,000 — though even that would have been rather weak job growth for this stage in the economic recovery. Note as well that employment growth in the private sector was only 59,000 jobs (the rest of the new jobs were government jobs), and that last month’s initial estimate of 144,000 new jobs was revised down to 128,000.

Today’s numbers will not be welcomed by the Bush campaign.