Job Losses: More of the Same in October

Even bullish economists expect continued problems in the labor market.

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The September jobs report is out today and it's pretty ugly: The country lost 159,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate stayed at 6.1 percent.

I cover the report's basics here.

It's also worth noting that the generally bullish Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein of First Trust Portfolios expect more bad news in the jobs market and similar losses next month.

From their morning note:

I mplications: The US labor market is hurting and the pain is pervasive, across most major sectors of the economy. Payrolls fell 159,000 in September and—given the credit crunch and lagged effect of hurricanes—are likely to fall a similar magnitude in October. Private sector payrolls declined 168,000 in September and are down ten months in a row, with the last four declines greater than 100,000. The two major measures of jobs, civilian employment and non-farm payrolls, are basically saying the same thing, the former down an average of 35,000 per month in the past year, while the latter is down an average of 43,000 per month. Total hours worked fell 0.5% in September and are down 1.2% versus last year. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in September, which is below trend but offset the above-trend 0.4% increase in August. The labor market tends to be a lagging indicator of economic performance. Given the intense nature of the credit crunch and the recent softness in the general economy, the labor market is going to continue to weaken for the next several months.