The Worst Jobs Report of the Year Just Announced?

This morning, we heard from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) about the jobs market situation in the U.S. economy. It said the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 7.3% in October, compared to 7.2% in September. In October, 204,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 8, 2013.)

Finally, a month in which more than 200,000 jobs were created! But not so fast…

The underemployment rate (which includes people who have given up looking for work and people who have part-time jobs but want full-time jobs) actually jumped in October to 13.8%—it stood at 13.6% in September!

And, as we have become accustomed to, in the jobs market report, we see low-wage-paying jobs accounted for most of the new jobs in the U.S. economy in October: 44,000 jobs were created in the retail trade, 53,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector, and 15,000 jobs in health care. Combined, these low-paying jobs made up 55% of all the jobs created in October!


Jobs which provide a decent salary didn’t see much growth from what we can see in the October jobs market report. Jobs in the traditional high-paying construction, mining/logging, wholesale trade, transportation/warehousing, information, and financial sectors lagged and showed next to no change in growth in October.

The table below, which I have created for my readers, shows the change in manufacturing employment in the U.S. economy since February 2013. So far, until this past September, 2,000 manufacturing jobs were wiped out this year.

 Growth in U.S. Manufacturing Jobs,
Feb. to Sept. 2013


All Employees in Manufacturing

Employment Change from Previous Month

























Net Change in Manufacturing Employment


Data source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site,
last accessed November 8, 2013.

The final troubling fact about the U.S. jobs market that no one wants to talk about is that in October, the civilian labor force (all workers in the U.S. economy) declined by 720,000! The labor force participation rate declined by 0.4% and stood at 62.8%. This is troublesome at the very core; it shows less and less Americans are working.

Dear reader, the jobs market report for October has strengthened my argument that the U.S. economy is far from seeing any economic growth. Looking at this jobs market report, which I’m sure the Federal Reserve is analyzing very closely, it only makes the Fed’s decision not to start tapering (not to pull back on monthly paper money printing) even stronger.