The U.S. economy continued its standard, mediocre performance last month, generating only 148,000 jobs in September, below forecasters’ expectations of 180,000. The economy needs to produce about 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth.
The unemployment rate, which is measured by a separate, less reliable survey, declined a tenth of a point to 7.2 percent.
The report was supposed to be released earlier in the month but was delayed by the shutdown.
The jobs number is a decline from an upwardly revised 193,000 jobs created in August. July’s increase, though, was revised downward to a crushing 89,000.
The White House will no doubt emphasize the decline in unemployment and spin the jobs numbers as a move forward, however sluggish. Then it will seize on the October jobs report as an example of the terrible problems caused by the government shutdown.