The economy added 114,000 jobs in September as the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%. Consumer credit increased by $18.1 billion to $2.726 trillion in August. The ISM index rose 1.9 points to 51.5 in September as the ISM services index increased 1.4 points to 55.1. Factory orders fell 5.2% in August. Auto sales were up 2.9% in September. Construction spending fell 0.6% in August. Initial jobless claims increased 4,000 to 367,000 for the week ended 9/29.
• The economy added 114,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in September as the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%. The labor force increased by 418,000. The discrepancy between weak job gains (in a healthy economy, monthly job gains of 130,000 are necessary just to keep pace with a growing labor force) and the significant decline in the unemployment rate likely stem from differences in the surveys that track the two data points. The household survey, which measures the unemployment rate, showed an increase of 582,000 part-time jobs. The U-6 measure of unemployment, which includes the unemployed, those discouraged and marginally attached to the labor force plus those employed part-time for economic reasons, held steady at 14.7% in September.
• Consumer credit increased $18.1 billion (0.7%) to $2.726 trillion in August. Revolving credit rose 0.5% while non-revolving credit increased 0.75%.
• The ISM index increased 1.9 points to 51.5 in September. This expansionary reading (above 50) marks a turnaround from three previous months of contraction.
• The ISM services index surprised on the upside with an increase of 1.4 points to 55.1 in September.
• Factory orders fell 5.2% in August.
• Auto sales were up 2.9% in September to an annual pace of 14.94 million units. Sales were up 13.7% from a year ago.
• Construction spending declined 0.6% in August.
• Initial jobless claims increased 4,000 to a level of 367,000 for the week ended September 29th.