The US jobs picture beat tepid expectations, with the economy creating a significantly better than expected 103,000 new jobs in September that nonetheless was not enough to cut the unemployment rate from 9.1 percent.
Economists had been looking for 60,000 total new nonfarm jobs, a month after the shock that the US had created a net of zero new jobs. That August number, though, was revised upward in the latest report, to show the economy creating 57,000 jobs for the month.
Getting the jobs market rolling again is seen as one of the two central spokes—the other being housing—in getting the US economy rolling again.
Other recent, data, particularly in productivity, trade and demand for durable goods, had indicated a modest recovery could be in the marking.
But unemployment has not come down as companies learn to do more with less, and projections recently have turned to indicate that a jobless rate above 9 percent is a likely reality well into 2012 and perhaps longer.
Average hourly earnings in September rose slightly to $23.12.