“The American Economy Continues To Tread Water Underwater”

jobs population

That’s how Binyamin Appelbaum describes today’s jobs report. Neil Irwin’s analysis:

Choose your non-inspiring adjective, possibly in Yiddish, and it nicely describes the long-awaited September jobs report. It wasn’t terrible by any stretch — the nation added 148,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a percent to 7.2 percent. But it is far short of the kind of robust jobs recovery that Americans have been waiting for these last four long years.

Greg Ip weighs in:

The only positive, if it could be called that, is the decline in the unemployment rate to 7.2%, a near-five year low, from 7.3%. Before rounding, the drop was barely noticeable. Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate held at a multi-decade low of 63.2%.

Drum’s bottom line:

We should be doing better than this. And if it weren’t for the fiscal cliff deal and the sequester and all the other austerity measures we’ve put in place since 2010, we probably would be. These numbers might very well be double what we’re actually seeing. This, as always, is a self-inflicted wound.

(Chart from Chad Stone)