October Jobs Report Surprisingly Strong

Shutdown didn't torpedo numbers after all
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2013 7:57 AM CST
A file photo of job-seekers heading to a career fair in Albany.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – Last month's government shutdown was supposed to throw a wet blanket on this morning's jobs numbers, but they turned out to be fairly strong. The economy added 204,000 jobs in October, almost double what analysts expected, reports the AP, which calls it an "unexpected burst of hiring." The unemployment rate, meanwhile, ticked up slightly from 7.2% to 7.3%, but it's the payroll numbers drawing the most attention. They're a "startling surprise," writes Prabha Natarajan at the Wall Street Journal.

MarketWatch calls the report "stunning" in its headline but notes the downside: Because it suggests the economy is doing better than expected, investors fear that could cause the Fed to change its tapering policy accordingly. As a result, the markets aren't expected to react kindly. "The government shutdown really didn’t have a material impact on employment," an economist tells Bloomberg. "The labor market is actually quite healthy, regardless of what people may think. The economy is doing better." (Read more unemployment stories.)

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