The September jobs report, released by the Labor Department on Tuesday morning, delivered a mixed bag of news for the U.S. economy.
Although employers in the United States added only 148,000 jobs, far fewer than the 193,000 jobs that were added in August and even significantly fewer than the 180,000 jobs that many economists had predicted, the unemployment rate dropped slightly from 7.3 to 7.2 percent.
It may seem hard to reconcile these facts. In short, 133,000 Americans reported finding jobs, and 73,000 joined the labor force. 11.3 million Americans are still without jobs but searching for work.
How much the government shutdown has to do with these numbers remains to be seen. It’s possible that American employers refrained from hiring when a shutdown was looming. If so, the temporary cutbacks in private government contract workers and other Federal employees during the 16-day congressional meltdown will likely skew next month’s numbers further.
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