August's "zero growth" jobs report was very bad. So, on Friday, everyone crossed their fingers leading up to September's Labor Department report as a market indicator. And those numbers, via The Wall Street Journal are here:
U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in September. Private employers added 137,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.1%
Ahead of the report, The Journal had pegged expectations at around 100,000 jobs added in September. "I am not expecting to be overwhelmed," said an economist at J.P. Morgan Chase to MarketWatch. On Thursday, The Washington Post's Neil Irwin explained what would be an optimistic number:
In this age of diminished expectations, a positive number in the 100,000 range — subtract 45,000 to get the 'true' level of job creation — would be a big, positive surprise. But even that would suggest a trend level of job growth that is too weak to keep up with an ever-growing labor force, let alone reduce the 9.1 percent unemployment rate over time.