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Job Creation Surges to 321,000 as Year’s Totals Approach Best Showing Since 1999

| December 5, 2014

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The national economy added 321,000 in October, the best showing since February 2012, when it added 332,000 jobs, and job-creation figures for September and October were revised upward, adding 44,000 jobs to the tally, for a total of 835,000 in the last three months. The economy is on pace to create the most jobs in 15 years, going back to 1999, when the Clinton-era boom peaked. But the unemployment rate, calculated from a different survey, held at last month’s 5.8 percent.

The economy appears to have shed its anemic month-over-month performance of the last several years in favor of robust monthly job growth, sustained by strong growth in the economy, which grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter after growing 4.6 percent in the second quarter. Lower oil and gas prices, now averaging $2.77 a gallon, have helped, adding dollars to consumers’ spending stash, but not by much: growth in wages remains sluggish, with hourly earnings averaging gains of barely 2 percent for five successive years, not enough to overcome inflation and other factors that erode workers’ take-home pay.

But some underlying economic factors have yet to change significantly for the better. Among those are the civilian labor force participation rate, which remains at a low 62.8 percent and an employment to population ratio at 59.2 percent , though the latter has shown improvements over the year, rising by 0.6 percentage points over the year. Overall, 9.1 million Americans remain unemployed, and when the 6.9 million people working part-time but looking for full-time work are included, the unemployment and under-employment rate is still in double digits, at 11.4 percent.

Otherwise, the economy grew across almost all sectors, defying suggestions that the surge is merely holiday related: rather, the pick-up in jobs has been cumulative over the years, benefiting broad swaths of the economy. Professional and business services increased by 86,000 in November, retail added 50,000 jobs, health care added 29,000, manufacturing added 28,000, financial activities, 20,000, transportation and warehousing, 17,000, restaurants and bars, 27,000, and construction, 20,000.

And yet opinion surveys still point to an unusual amount of gloom among Americans, chiefly because while the jobs lost to the Great Recession have all long since been made up, hundreds of thousands more Americans have joined the work force, and wages have remained low. Wages are not expected to pick up until the job market becomes a workers’ market. That happens when the unemployment rate falls below 5 percent, and employers have less to bargain with: firing and replacing workers is not as easy, and workers are in a more commanding position to demand better wages and benefits.

All indications are that the economy is heading in that direction even as economies in Europe and Asia slow down.

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12 Responses for “Job Creation Surges to 321,000 as Year’s Totals Approach Best Showing Since 1999”

  1. Obama 2014 says:

    More proof that Obama is doing a terrible job… Glad Congress and the Senate might impeach him next year.

  2. Making Ends Meet says:

    This rise in job numbers happens EVERY year due to the holidays. Many PART TIME jobs in stores and restaurants. Then when January comes…BOOM….321,000 layoffs !!! Why do you keep trying to fool the people into believing America has more job openings for FULL TIME work..Its a LIE !!!!

    • Obama 2014 says:

      The economy hasn’t shown any job losses since 2008 so your comment isn’t true. Seasonal help do leave the positions but normal jobs that are created cancel them out. That is what the chart above is showing.

      Also there are plenty of full time and part time jobs in Florida, I get 15 emails a day from job boards and companies with openings within a 45 mile radius of Palm Coast. The question is are you qualified for them and are you willing to travel to get to them.

  3. Making Ends Meet says:

    “economy hasn’t SHOWN any job losses since 2008 “………. Its like the old Flim-Flam man. Watch both his hands because he’s a snicky CHEAT. So how many Americans have given up looking for work ? How many just gave in and started collecting Social Security early? How many are working “illegally” under the table because they can’t find any jobs that pay enough to survive nowdays ? You get 15 emails about STUFFING ENVELOPES. Your not fooling anybody anymore, and neither is Obama.

    • Schottey says:

      Most of the questions you ask are answered by unemployment numbers and others are answered by other metrics that the NON-PARTISAN people who track this use. No matter which number you use U1-U6 (U3 is the standard), the numbers of jobs have been rising steadily.

      I apologize to those for whom this economy recovery has not yet helped, but it’s crazy (and against all evidence) to pretend that Obama is “fooling anybody” with rising job numbers. Our economy has been rising steadily since the end of the great recession and has done so even while other markets in Europe have started slowing.

  4. Flatsflyer says:

    Take that you Flagler County Tea Baggers, keep spreading your lies, they just make you look as stupid as The Ronald Reagan Terrorists.

  5. Gia says:

    Don’t be naive people, this is the normal process before holidays just temporary jobs. Then after January 15 they all go home.

    • Schottey says:

      The U.S. economy has shown 50 straight months of job growth. I’ve never been a real huge math guy, but 50 months covers a couple of holidays, right?

  6. Jim P says:

    If you follow the jobs reports, holidays are calculated into these reports. Estimated Holiday temp jobs are calculated each and every year when the government reports these. Plus this is October report. Most temp holiday jobs are created in November.

    Let credit be given for stopping the bleeding of jobs and tracking upward. So many Obama haters for no reason. Cant give credit to the House or Senate. (Dems or Republicans) and I am a republican. (Not a Reagan Republican)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Half of all these GREAT 0bama made jobs are low pay and or part time. is our economy better then in 2008 YES but that’s not really hard to accomplish. We had a melt down of Banking and mortgages loans BECAUSE of liberal policy’s on them. Government made banks give out bad loans ones they never would do before it let them bundle them into investments that where bad and Government backed it all up? Did Government help you or I NO it just gave bail outs to their wall street friend in business and it came from 0bamathe Ds and the Rs DC did not give a rats but about us.

    • Obama 2014 says:

      Half of all these GREAT 0bama made jobs are low pay and or part time…


      The U6 unemployment rate — which includes people who are working part time for economic reasons as well as people marginally attached to the labor force — ticked lower from 11.5% to 11.4% but remain elevated. PNC’s Hoffman noted this but said, “There is every indication that the rate of improvement is getting better. There are more opportunities for more people with different skills and maybe finally they’ll be paid a little more for their productivity.” He also said that the fact the headline unemployment rate held at 5.8% is not surprising since October fell, but he expects to see further dips in the figure maybe next month but certainly in 2015. The unemployment rate “can hold steady but be heading down.”

      Did Government help you or I ?


      Yes they did, they gave us Harp and Harp 2.0 to refi our mortgages.

      Also if it wasn’t so hard to accomplish both why did both Bush JR and Bush Sr lose so many jobs as president but Clinton and Obama added so many?

      Face it have a dem in the White House helps the economy. We have about 30 years of proof now.

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