The U.S. Department of Labor announced that 80,000 jobs were added last month, which means the unemployment rate has dropped to 9.0%, from 9.1% in September. However, don't get too excited, because economists were hoping for more jobs.
The NY Times reports, "While job growth is certainly better than job losses, a gain of 80,000 jobs is hardly worth celebrating. That was just about enough to keep up with population growth, so did not significantly reduce the backlog of 14 million unemployed workers. As a result, the unemployment rate barely budged, dropping to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in September. The rate has not fallen below 9 percent in seven months. In the year before the recession began in December 2007, the jobless rate averaged about half that, at 4.6 percent."
The Washington Post adds, "October’s modest job growth is barely enough to keep pace with population growth. About twice as many are needed to lower the unemployment rate. Many employers are hesitant to step up hiring until they see steady demand from consumers... President Barack Obama will likely face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any post-war president."
The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog had "Some more marginally good news under the hood:
One economist says
* the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) declined by 366,000 to 5.9 million
* the number of involuntary part-time workers -- those who work part-time because they can't find full-time work -- decreased by 374,000 to 8.9 million in October
* the number of discouraged workers -- those who gave up looking for jobs -- fell by 252,000 a year earlier to 967,000
that in order to bring down the unemployment rate by half a percentage point, we'd need "Sustained payroll increases of around 150,000 a month" for a year.