This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Job Market Fed Faces: Healing But Still Ailing

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ In a story Sept. 7 about unemployment, The Associated Press incorrectly spelled Michael Mangum's name in the penultimate paragraph. A corrected version of the story is below:

The job market Fed faces: healing but still ailing

Job market's vital signs: Unemployment is down, but many US employers remain reluctant to hire

By PAUL WISEMAN

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Just how sturdy is the U.S. job market?

That's the key question the Federal Reserve will face when it decides later this month whether to reduce its economic stimulus.

The answer depends on where you look.

The economy has added jobs for 35 straight months. Unemployment has reached a 4½-year low of 7.3 percent. Layoffs are dwindling.

Yet other barometers of the job market point to chronic weakness:

The pace of hiring remains tepid. Job growth is concentrated in lower-paying industries. The economy is 1.9 million jobs shy of its pre-recession level â¿¿ and that's not counting the additional jobs needed to meet population growth. Nearly 4.3 million people have been unemployed at least six months.

What's more, employers have little incentive to raise pay. Many unhappy employees have nowhere else to go.

Still, when it meets Sept. 17-18, the Fed is expected to reduce its $85 billion a month in bond purchases by perhaps $10 billion. Its purchases have helped keep home-loan and other borrowing rates low to try to encourage consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more.

Here's a look at the job market's vital signs as the Fed's decision nears:

UNEMPLOYMENT

The unemployment rate slid in August to 7.3 percent, its lowest level since December 2008. Unemployment had peaked in October 2009 at 10 percent and has since fallen more or less steadily. Since then, the number of people who say they have jobs has risen by 5.7 million. And the number of those who say they're unemployed has dropped by nearly 4.1 million.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,093.15 +58.22 0.32%
S&P 500 2,100.40 +19.22 0.92%
NASDAQ 4,994.6020 +62.7870 1.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs