When August’s job number fell far short of expectations, many wondered whether it was just an off month or the start of a more alarming trend. As of this morning, there’s evidence of the former.
The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September, above expectations and far ahead of August’s totals. The overall unemployment rate also dropped to 5.9% – the lowest since July 2008, which was over six years ago.
Once again, public-sector layoffs did not drag down the overall employment figures. Though jobs reports over the last few years have shown monthly government job losses, in September, the private sector added 236,000 while the public sector added 12,000. The latter may not sound like much, but after several years in which that total was negative, it’s at least somewhat heartening.
As for the revisions, all of the news is good: July’s totals were revised up from 212,000 to 243,000, while August’s figures were revised up, from 142,000 to 180,000. Combined, that’s an additional 69,000 jobs.
For the right, which is still under the illusion that President Obama’s tax breaks and health care law are destroying the economy, this is the sort of jobs report that will be very difficult to explain.
All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.63 million jobs overall and 2.58 million in the private sector. What’s more, September was the 55th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth – the longest on record.
At this point, with the year more than half over, 2014 is on track to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 1999.
Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Second Update: OK, one more chart, this time showing the unemployment rate since Obama took office.