Economy Adds Jobs, Slowly

A fresh government report shows the economy added jobs last month, though at a slower pace than expected. The Labor Department says businessess added just 51,000 jobs to their payrolls. But the unemployment rate — set by a separate survey — fell a tenth of a percent to 4.6 percent.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Some new numbers out this morning show the economy added job last month, though at a slower pace than expected. The Labor Department says businesses added just 51,000 jobs to their payrolls last month. The unemployment rate, set by a separate survey, did fall 1/10 of a percent, to 4.6. NPR's Jack Speer reports.

JACK SPEER: If an economy is measured just by the number of jobs it adds, last month won't go down as a strong month. A number of new jobs added was well below the 120,000 most analysts have been expecting. The government says jobs growth in September was the weakest it's been in nearly a year.

However, Standard & Poor's chief economist David Wyss says there's more the story than that.

Mr. DAVID WYSS (Chief Economist, Standard & Poor's): Extremely weak employment number, a gain of only about 51,000 jobs. It's somewhat ameliorated by the fact they did revise August up pretty sharply, from 128,000 up to 188,000 new jobs. So take the two together, it's about where we thought it's was going to be.

SPEER: The government also revised upwards its July jobs numbers. Stewart Hoffman is chief economist with P&C Financial. He says taken as a whole, the last three months shown economy that has slowed but does not appear headed for recession.

Mr. STEWART HOFFMAN (Chief Economist, P&C Financial): I don't see that in this data. There is that concern. But you know, creating this number of jobs, adjusted for revisions, over 100,000, with wages going up, doesn't seem to me as though the wheels are coming off the economy.

SPEER: The unemployment rate last month fell to 4.6% because more adults left the labor force than entered it. Jack Speer, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.