Yesterday’s unemployment report contained some good news, for a change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data stating that 243,000 new jobs were created, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent. Both results are better than what economists and analysts — who never seem to be right — were expecting.
There are some curious aspects to the report, and some negative news as well. For example, the BLS made an adjustment that simply eliminated 1.2 million from the workforce, which of course affected the statistics. In addition, the labor-force participation number fell to the lowest level since 1983. These statistics may indicate that some people have just given up after looking for work for years — which is a sobering thought. If true, that may mean that the unemployment rate will jump again if those people decide to once again start hunting for a job.
Despite the cautionary aspects of the report, I’m glad to see that our economy is producing jobs. I’m sure there are some people who regret the timing of the good news for political reasons — they know that many Americans vote on the basis of their pocketbooks, and they believe that voters will be more likely to favor the Republican candidate over President Obama if the economy stays in the doldrums. Such people should keep those thoughts to themselves. We should be happy for every one of those 243,000 news jobs and for the people who were hired to perform them, and we should hope that next month’s report is even better.