U.S. unemployment rate falls to 7.2%, but hiring slows to 148K jobs in September
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since November 2008, but the government’s latest jobs report still shows a muddled picture of the economy.
According to the September jobs report, which was delayed 18 days by the government shutdown, hiring slowed last month. But the unemployment rate fell as more workers said they got jobs and joined the labor force.
Employers added 148,000 jobs in September, fewer than the 193,000 jobs added in August, the Department of Labor reported.
But the good news is the unemployment rate fell to 7.2% as 73,000 people joined the labor force and 133,000 people said they got jobs. That’s considered encouraging, after months in which thousands of Americans were dropping out of the workforce.
Still, 11.3 million jobless people continued to look for work.
Economists called the report a “mixed bag,” “underwhelming” and “disappointing.”
The conflicting picture comes from two separate surveys conducted each month, which don’t always match up. The first survey asks businesses and government agencies about their hiring, while the second survey covers employment status of individual households.
The cloudy picture of the job market isn’t likely to clear anytime soon. The economic impact from the shutdown is expected to show up in the October jobs report. Its release will also be delayed until November 8.