NewsFlash: October 3, 2008
Quick Take: A statement from EPI on the grim September jobs report
Grim employment numbers issued this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics remind us that beyond the attention-grabbing crisis in financial markets, the long-running crisis in the real economy continues. Jared Bernstein, senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute, quipped that: “We interrupt the financial meltdown to remind you that the nation’s payrolls have been contracting for nine months in a row.”
The nation’s employers continued to cut their payrolls, with jobs down by 159,000 in September, the ninth consecutive month of job losses. The underemployment rate jumped to 11% — the highest level since in over 14 years. Unemployment held steady at 6.1%, but only because the increase in the number of job losers (up 101,000) was offset by a decline in the labor force (down 121,000). Over the past year, the unemployment rolls have expanded by 2.2 million, to 9.5 million, the highest number of unemployed since December of 1992.
“These numbers clearly portray a recessionary job market that has been taking a toll on working families’ living standards,” Bernstein said.
UPDATE: EPI published a more complete analysis of the monthly report in the latest Jobs Picture.
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