The Labor Department has released its jobs report for September, the last one that will appear before election day. It shows the unemployment rate unchanged at 9.5 percent [correction, 9.6].
Despite the unchanged rate, the economy actually shed jobs in September. A very modest gain in private sector employment (64,000) was more than offset by the loss of 159,000 government jobs. To make matters worse, the number of people employed part time but who would prefer full-time work increased by 612,000 . The number of discouraged workers, who aren’t counted as employed because they have stopped looking for work, also increased.
The glimmer of hope here is that, for the ninth consecutive month, private sector jobs increased. But, again, the increase was modest and, indeed, smaller than many analysts expected.
Thus, the Democrats are left to assert that things would have been much worse without their stimulus bill. This remains a decidedly losing argument, politically.
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