“Employers in the U.S. added fewer workers to payrolls than projected in September, indicating the world’s largest economy had little momentum leading up to the federal government shutdown,” Shobhana Chandra reports for Bloomberg.

“‘It’s not like we’re falling off a cliff, but there’s a failure to get any spark in employment,’ said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. ‘Had this report come in strong, there was some possibility of the Fed tapering in December, but that possibility seems to be very small now,’” Chandra reports. “The September payroll figure reflects the pay period that includes the 12th of the month, two weeks prior to the 16-day federal shutdown.”

Chandra reports, “‘Conditions in the job market today are still far from what all of us would like to see,’ Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at a news conference following the Fed’s September meeting.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The key phrase for the September report is ‘little change.’ The total number of unemployed Americans is little changed from August at 11.3 million. The ethnic breakdowns among the unemployed were also little changed, as was the number of long-term unemployed (people jobless for at least 27 weeks), which stood at 4.1 million for September,” Matt Berman and Catherine Hollander report for The National Journal. “The U-6 rate, a broader measure of unemployment that includes people ‘marginally attached’ to the labor force, as well as people employed part-time for economic reasons, declined only slightly to 13.6 percent in September from 13.7 percent the previous month.”

“Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Congressional Budget Office director, described the numbers as ‘lackluster, tepid, listless, or soft,’” Berman and Hollander report. “That may prove to be the most positive news for jobs growth for the rest of the year. The Oct. 16 agreement to end the nation’s partial government shutdown and avert default on the country’s borrowing limit set up another round of fiscal fights and congressional contention at the end of the year. Previous budget battles have proven to be less than helpful for the muddling recovery. September’s report predates the culmination of the most recent fiscal showdown, whose effects are more likely to be found in the October employment report.”

Berman and Hollander report, “Just how bleak are the September numbers? They don’t even beat the average of what has been a pretty tepid year for growth. Over the previous 12 months, the U.S. economy averaged 185,000 job gains per month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Most market-watchers now expect the Federal Reserve to continue its $85 billion a month bond-buying program until well into 2014. Consensus sentiment is now that the central bank won’t even start easing back on, or “tapering,” the purchases until the spring,” Jeff Cox reports for CNBC. “‘You would think by now you would be consistently creating over a couple hundred-thousand jobs a month, at least,’ said Brad Levitt, senior economist for Oppenheimer Funds. ‘The Fed wants to see over 200,000 jobs a month on a consistent basis before a change of policy.’”

“Wages grew little in the month, with average hourly earnings up just three cents to $24.09, while the average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours,” Cox reports. “‘In short, the demand isn’t there and the money to pay additional workers isn’t there,’ Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for the Conference Board, said in a statement. ‘Both job and income growth remain stuck in neutral.’”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related article:
Tech stocks turn down; Netflix, Apple in the red – October 22, 2013