Saturday, November 9, 2013

Employment Update: October 2013

Employment data for October 2013 are somewhat ambiguous. A total of 204,000 jobs had been added to the economy, significantly higher than the 148,000 jobs reported for September 2013 last month. But, as usually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports these data monthly (the press release is here), revised September numbers upward by 60,000 jobs. September results, therefore, at 208,000, were actually better, by a hair, than October results. And for all we know, October results may also be revised next month. We’ll see. Tracking these numbers requires a certain amount of patience before real trends become believable.

Herewith the updated chart:

This year I have been publishing projections of year-to-date numbers out for the total year. Last month and the month before, the annual projections were under-performing 2012. This month’s data show a positive change. It now looks like 2013 will produce a total gain in jobs of 2.236 million, better than the economy managed to do each year in the 2010-2012 period. The graphic showing annual data and the 2013 projection follows:

At the same time, what with nearly four years of recovery behind us, we’ve only recovered 83.4 percent of the jobs lost in the 2008 and 2009 period. At this month’s rate of adding to jobs, we’ll have to wait almost seven months more before we have achieved the employment level we enjoyed in December 2007.

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