Like Kanye West’s last-minute surprise show at New York Fashion Week, the September jobs report released this morning turned out to be lackluster. U.S. employers only added 142,000 jobs even as the unemployment rate remained at a steady 5.1 percent, prompting discussions of an economic slowdown.
Here are three things to know from today’s report:
1. Economists — and the economy — aren’t having a great day. If you want to increase the odds of winning the lottery, you might not want to take an economist’s advice. That’s because they were predicting there would be more than 200,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy in September, but the actual number came in at just 142,000. (Womp, womp.)
Here are a few reactions to today’s report.
From the New York Times: “There’s nothing good in this morning’s report. We had very low levels of job creation, wage growth isn’t budging, and the unemployment rate would have risen if the labor force participation rate hadn’t fallen.” – Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago
From CNN Money: “It’s a very disappointing report across the board. The U.S. economy is really buckling under the pressure of a global economic slowdown.” – Sung Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands
From CBS News: “Ugly, really ugly, it’s just hard to find anything good in the report. After last month we could all point to jobs, and say at least they are holding in there. The report is telling us the domestic economy is slowing.” – JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade
2. Is this going to have a domino effect? The question on everyone’s minds today is: What does this say about the global economy and will this impact interest rates? The easy answer is: No one knows … yet. But it is looking a little less likely that the Fed will start raising interest rates in the near future, as was previously anticipated. They may just decide to push it off until next year, according to this report. Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see.
3. Even more bad news (sorry). When it rains, it pours. The August jobs report numbers that were initially reported last month (173,000) turned out to be quite inflated; that number was revised down to just 136,000 jobs. And to add just a little more salt to the wound, July’s numbers were also revised down, though not as drastically.