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Kai Ryssdal: This morning’s unemployment report was the last A-list economic indicator we’re going to get before the mid-term elections. It’s also the last look at the labor market the Fed’s going to have before its next meeting, the day after election day. We’ll get to the Fed in a bit, but first, the actual number. Not exactly inspiring. Overall, the economy lost 95,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent. The private sector’s doing what it can — 64,000 new jobs in September. They are just the wrong kind of jobs, as Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.
Mitchell Hartman: Private sector has actually been adding jobs since January — around 95,000 a month on average. Enough to keep the unemployment rate from going up, but not much more.
Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics sums it up this way:
Paul Ashworth: Steady but certainly disappointing.
And if you work for a city or state, the disappointment’s likely to spread. Stimulus spending is running out and budgets are in crisis — which means job cuts for teachers and other government professionals.
Ashworth: Basically, America’s economy in September lost 70-something-thousand well-paid jobs with benefits in local and state government and gained 34,000 jobs in bars and restaurants.
Jay Solomon is offering some of those jobs at his three panini-and-soup restaurants in Denver.
Jay Solomon: When I run an ad on Craigslist — these are entry-level cafe positions — I get 300 e-mails within two days.
For jobs paying just a little above minimum wage.
Chris Owens is executive director of the National Employment Law Project.
Chris Owens: The industries where job growth has been concentrated since the recovery began, median wages are below $15 an hour.
Owens says the sectors adding the most jobs have been retail sales, food preparation, home health care and temp work. But jobs are still disappearing in higher-paid professions, like construction and finance.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.