The U.S. Labor Department finally released its September employment report Tuesday morning, having been delayed by the government’s 16-day shutdown, which began on October 1. According to the monthly overview, U.S. employers added 148,000 new job positions in September, a dismal comparison to the 185,000 jobs that were added each month last year. The most enterprising positions indicated in the summary were in warehousing, transportation, construction, and wholesale trade.
Currently, the number of people employed by the federal government looks even more discouraging, economically, as only 2% of Americans worked in federally-run positions before the shutdown – the lowest of this century, as well as the lowest in almost 50 years; in 1966, 4.6% of citizens were on federal payrolls – more than twice what it is now. To further put that into perspective, those figures don’t even include military employment, which was 2.6 million people in 1966 and, today, is 1.4 million.
Now, upon the bleak figures of the report, economists are concerned about the Federal Reserve’s spending; the Fed was presumed to be planning to cut down on major asset purchases, as the economy showed a steady incline. With September’s report, however, that does not now seem likely.
In a letter to customers, Barclays analysts’ wrote, “In light of the moderate tone of the September employment report, we have pushed out our expectation for the first Fed tapering in the pace of asset purchases to March 2014 from December 2013.”
As reported by The New York Times, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ chief economist Ian Shepherdson expressed to clientele that, now, because of the shutdown, economic data based on the monthly employment report by the Labor Department will continue to be tainted until December. That means that the Fed, whose “core criteria to change policy is clear evidence of a sustained improvement in labor market outlook,” probably won’t make any effort to reduce spending until December’s report comes out in January 2014.
You can read the entire report for yourself by clicking the link above or visiting the homepage for the Bureau of Labor Statistics at bls.gov.
Image courtesy Dan Smith (Rdsmith4) via Wikimedia Commons.