United States economy adds only 142000 jobs, raising doubts about interest rate rise

That drop suggested that the unemployment rate remained steady in the month because of people leaving the labor force, rather than because of people finding jobs.


Between January and September, the US economy added an average of 198,000 jobs each month, compared to a monthly average of 260,000 in 2014. The economy is still millions of jobs short of where it should be. Non-Farm Payrolls for August were downwardly revised from 173,000 to 136,000.

But Friday’s disappointing news raises questions about whether the slowdown reflects normal volatility or a more sustained drop in hiring.

Muted wage growth, an indicator of weak hiring demand, slowed.

Average hourly earnings edged down a penny for the month. And, no matter how much Fed chair Janet Yellen and the gang want to raise rates, the news is just too bleak to move away from zero at this time. The takeaway is simple: The economy is not strong enough, using the Fed guidelines, to start pushing up short-term rates for the first time in almost a decade. An increase now is hard to imagine in light of these numbers, unless they are an outlier. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was at 2.5%, also unchanged from August. Digging into the report, we see that the civilian labor force participation rate declined, the employment-to-population ratio for prime age workers has continued to stagnate, (sitting at 77.2 percent-where it was when the year started), and wage growth is stuck at 2.2 percent. The number of discouraged workers, those not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available, was 635,000, little changed from a year ago.

The increase for August was revised higher to show a gain of 0.4% month-on-month, up from a preliminary estimate of 0.3%. One reason is that 17 million persons now have insurance due to Obamacare.

A few economists, who were surveyed by Reuters, forecast that United States payrolls outside of farming went up by more than 200,000 in September. Hospitals accounted for 16,000 of the new jobs.


Excluding manufacturing, “the slowdown in employment gains is most notable in business services and education and health, which are not the sectors most prone to cyclical swings”. Mining employment reached a peak in December, 2014, but has since declined by 102,000 jobs. While the headline unemployment rate stood still at 5.1pc, the broader underemployment measure fell from 10.3pc to 10pc. Low prices for commodities has been hurting farmers and even the oil companies are taking a hit because of falling oil prices.

Non-farm payroll: Weak US jobs growth pushes back rate hike expectations