If the unemployed nationwide were looking for some good news as we lumber toward the holiday season, the reality of the recent hiring data will sadly disappoint for many.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics news report issued Thursday, only 130,000 new jobs were added in October nationally--a number far below most economists predictions. The numbers of jobs gained in September was a more robust 148,000, but still considerably short of the figure that would indicate an expanding job market and significantly decreased jobless rate.
The national unemployment rate stands at 7.2 percent--down from 7.3 in August--which represents the lowest number since November 2008. Far from being a sign of a recovering economy for job seekers, though, the number actually is a reflection of the growing number of people leaving the labor market and declaring themselves "unemployed." Pennsylvania's rate stood at 7.7 percent.
Mark Zandi, the oft-cited economist from Moody's Analytics, recently stated that "there's no real change in job market--steady as she goes," pertaining to the health of the labor market. Zandi also expects the the impending debt-ceiling debate, possible standoff and potential economic fallout likely will cause employers to delay any plans for new hiring out of economic fear and uncertainly.
On the bright side, new claims for unemployment compensation dropped last week by 2.9 percent, to 340,00. It might not sound like much, but--with this increasingly apparent jobless recovery--sometimes good news is hard to find!