Tepid September Job Growth Expected

Oct 6, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Tomorrow the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to report that fewer than 100,000 — as few, says one estimate, as 60,000 —  new jobs were created in September. While that’s an improvement over August’s no-growth report, it’s not going to change the unemployment rate, which has hovered around 9.1 percent since May.

Wednesday, payroll processor ADP and its partner Macroeconomic Advisers reported that 91,000 private sector jobs were created in September. That was the same number initially reported by ADP for August. (The September report adjusted downward that number to 89,000.)

While the ADP National Employment Report rarely tracks closely with the government’s official numbers, it’s seen by economists as an indicator of what the report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics may show. Taken with other reports out this week, there’s a sense that tomorrow’s numbers won’t move the needle.

“You have to characterize labor-market conditions as tepid and disappointing,” Bloomberg quoted Joel Prakken, senior managing director of Macroeconomic Advisers, as saying. “There is an element of structural unemployment that persists.”

This morning, the Institute for Supply Management reported that economic activity in the service sector grew in September for the 22nd consecutive month. It was off slightly from August, but still above the level indicating contraction.

However, the Institute’s Employment Index decreased 2.9 percentage points to 48.7 percent in September. It was the first decline in 12 months and signals a reduction in hiring.

Earlier this week, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said employers in September announced plans to layoff 115,730 workers, more than double the  51,114 announced in August. It was the largest number of layoffs, the firm said, in two years.

The Conference Board, which monthly counts the number of current and new jobs advertised online, said September’s count was 43,500 below August’s. Since March, the number of advertised vacancies has dropped by half-a-million.

There are 10 million more unemployed workers than there are jobs advertised online, the Conference Board said.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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