Official data reveals complex picture of recovering labor market

October 9, 2012
Official data reveals complex picture of recovering labor market

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its employment situation update for the month of September on Friday, October 5.

According to the report, there was a net gain of 114,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in September – almost 50,000 fewer than the figure that was projected by last week’s employment report from ADP. As we discussed previously, there are a number of factors that cause divergence between the two reports.

BLS also reported that the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, down from 8.1 percent in August. This part of the report has already proven to be controversial, with some commentators asserting that the data may have been manipulated by the Labor Department in order to bolster the administration’s claims that the economic recovery is picking up.

Other analysts, such as the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, assert that the falling unemployment rate reflects genuine improvement in the U.S. employment picture, pointing to ongoing job creation and the long-term trend of recovery.

“None of this should be taken to imply that the situation is good,” Krugman wrote in an opinion piece over the weekend. “The U.S. economy is still far short of where it should be, and the job market has a long way to go. But the employment data do suggest an economy that is slowly healing.”

These mixed results indicate that it will continue to be key for every business to expand with caution and focus on assembling a solid core of high-caliber professionals to carry the company forward through these lean times. Corporate recruiters can help businesses ensure speed and quality when conducting an executive or financial professional search.

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