After a bit of delay, we learned today that American payrolls added 148,000 new jobs in September. Forecasters had suggested something higher -- perhaps 180,000 jobs. A separate survey of households shows the unemployment rate in America falling to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent last month. And while the news isn't bad, it could be better.
"We've seen the unemployment rate coming down pretty steadily, from 10 percent to 7.2 percent today, and you saw that progress again in September. No question that's unacceptably high for the unemployment rate," says Jason Furman, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. "Same thing you're seeing on jobs -- 148,000 jobs is steady, it's been 43 straight months of progress, but we'd like to see even faster than that."