U.S. employers add 103,000 jobs, giving experts a reason for optimism

Marketplace Staff Oct 7, 2011

U.S. employers add 103,000 jobs, giving experts a reason for optimism

Marketplace Staff Oct 7, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: The nation’s economy created 103,000 jobs in September, which is slightly more than analysts were expecting. Government payrolls did fall, but the private sector added nearly 140,000 jobs.

Let’s get some analysis of these numbers with Jill Schlesinger, editor-at-large at CBS/MoneyWatch. She’s with us live this morning as she is every Friday morning from New York. Good morning Jill.

Jill Schlesinger: Good morning.

Chiotakis: So, the initial takeaway from these numbers?

Schlesinger: I’m smiling this morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: Oh, smiling’s good!

Schlesinger: I know! The estimate for 65,000 new jobs, and even though nearly half of the gains last month were due to the rehiring 45,000 striking Verizon employees, the report was better than expected. I also want to point out, revisions to the last two months added another 99,000 jobs.

Chiotakis: All right, so 99,000, that includes August, which, remember we were all making fun of the fact that no jobs were created, it was zero. And they revised that up to 57,000 in August, which I thought was interesting. What’s it gonna take, Jill, to really make a dent in the unemployment rate?

Schlesinger: You know, we need to see 200,000, 250,000 thousand jobs created consistently — not one month here or there. And we really just have to see that over a period of time to get some of those 14 million people back to work.

Chiotakis: How’s that gonna happen?

Schlesinger: Well, if I knew that, well okay — that’s the golden question here. I think the key is confidence.

You know, I just spoke to a guy named Brian Hamilton, he owns a research company called Sage Works; he does a lot of information gathering for privately held companies. He says privately held companies, which create about 80 percent of new jobs, are selling more this year. He says sales for those companies are up by five, six percent over last year — but they’re still not hiring, they’re on the fence, they don’t feel confident. He says that he thinks as sales increase and global uncertainly diminishes, that’s when they’re going to get more comfortable and start hiring.

So I think we could see some good news coming — we just got to get that Europe thing figured out.

Chiotakis: The European debt crisis. And when you say “on the fence,” I mean, are they sitting on this money that they would be able to hire these folks?

Schlesinger: Yeah, they definitely are. They are making more money, they have more money. So that’s what his research shows, and I find it to be really interesting again, confidence — confidence is the key.

Chiotakis: Confidence is the key — that’s the theme of the morning. Jill Schlesinger, from CBS/Moneywatch. Jill, thanks.

Schlesinger: Great to be with you.

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