Unemployment Report Out 2 Weeks Late


The monthly unemployment report is out. It was delayed by more than two weeks by the government shutdown, but there is some good news - thousands of Americans got new jobs last month. However, there weren't enough new hires.

Employers added 148,000 jobs in September, which was lower than expected, but the numbers were strong enough to help push the unemployment rate down one-tenth of a point to 7.2 percent, the lowest it's been in nearly five years.

"Wall Street looks at trends, and the trend is saying that the unemployment rate is dropping," said NYSE trader Ben Willis. "We've gone from 7.3 and we went down to 7.2 so that's really the important story."

But part of the reason for the drop is that more Americans stopped looking for work so they're no longer counted as unemployed.

Economists say the employment numbers for September and October could be affected by the government shutdown and we may not get a true picture of what's going on until the November report comes out.

There's more good news for job seekers. Retailers are hiring more holiday help than they have in recent years, and some of those part-time jobs can lead to fulltime work.

"It means that people running the retail business are having a positive outlook," said Willis. "They're expecting more people to walk through their doors and spend money."

While a large number of retailers are planning to hire college students for the holidays, many say they intend to hire more retirees, and experienced workers who are not retired.

The stock markets opened the day higher following the release of the employment report.

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