Oct. 9, 2012 – NAFCU Chief Economist David Carrier said Friday that September’s jobs numbers were “pretty much what analysts expected,” but that upward revisions to July and August "took everyone by surprise" since data for both months had been revised down previously.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payrolls increased in September by 114,000, in line with expectations. However, payroll gains were revised up unexpectedly in July by 40,000 and August by 46,000, respectively. “There’s a lot of volatility in these numbers,” Carrier said, “which are probably due to seasonal adjustments.”
The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey, fell from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent. That decline was also a surprise, Carrier said, but the data comes from a separate survey “so unfortunately it’s too soon to conclude that this welcome reversal is here to stay.”
Carrier noted that much of the September increase occurred in education and health care, which added 49,000 jobs. Manufacturing continued its downward slide, losing 16,000 jobs. Average hourly earings for all employees were up 0.3 percent.
Notably, the labor force expanded by 418,000 in September, which was the largest monthly gain since May.
For more, see NAFCU’s Macro Data Flash.