According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s labor force added 248,000 jobs in September. That puts the nation’s unemployment rate down to 5.9% , the lowest level since July 2008. In August, the employment gains reported fell way below expectations. This raised the average monthly job gain in the 3rd qtr to 224,000 – just a slight decline from the 267,000 monthly average job increase for the second qtr.
“Today’s report confirmed our expectation that much of the weakness in the August hiring number would be revised away,” says Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “The improved job gains over the past six months, combined with other economic data, support our forecast for firming economic growth in the second half of 2014. The decline in the unemployment rate, though due partly to a shrinking labor force, will get the attention of Federal Reserve officials, but the muted wage gains may help soothe their concerns over brewing wage inflation.”
“Today’s encouraging jobs report also is consistent with results from our September National Housing Survey, to be released next week, which is expected to show a rebound in consumer expectations regarding housing after a couple of months of eroding confidence,” Duncan said. “Overall, we maintain our forecast of solid economic growth – fueled by steady job gains – for the remainder of the year, which should help build momentum for consumer housing sentiment, setting up for a stronger housing recovery in 2015.”