Unemployment Holds at 9.6 Percent: Overall Jobs Lost, Private Employment Losing Steam

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This picture will never get old. Photo: David Goldman/AP

Democratic hopes that job numbers would improve in the last unemployment announcement before the midterm elections were dashed today when the government announced that the national jobless rate held steady at 9.6 percent in the month of September. 95,000 jobs were lost overall — 77,000 of them temporary government jobs related to the census. Private employment, usually a better metric for how the labor market is actually going, was up 64,000. That's better than going down, but it's not as good as the previous month's rise of 93,000. The percentage of people who are working part-time because they can't find full-time work — or who have given up looking for work entirely — has risen to 17.1 percent from 16.7 percent in August. This is all-around worse news than analysts expected, and a serious blow to midterm candidates with any ties to President Obama. With today's numbers, expectations seem to be even higher that the Fed will take some sort of new action — perhaps buying more bonds to try to keep loan rates low for families and small businesses — in November.

Cuts in Government Led U.S. Economy to Lose 95,000 Jobs [NYT]