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Dispelling Fears, U.S. Adds 103,000 Jobs in September

The U.S. economy bucked low expectations Friday with news that it added over 100,000 jobs over September, masking other figures that continued to confirm the rising appeal of rental properties alongside a decline in homeownership.

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The ""Labor Department"":http://www.dol.gov/ released seasonally adjusted and unadjusted numbers for ""nonfarm payroll employment"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm, which it reviews by tallying up private-sector and public-sector job reports.

Nonfarm payroll employment tacked on 137,000 new faces in the private sector, alongside 103,000 for the nonfarm jobs payroll overall ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a solid forward step in lieu of pale figures from August, which saw the number of lost jobs eclipsing new ones.

For the housing industry, whose employment numbers largely froze with payrolls last month, the new numbers reflected an ongoing dearth of interest among first-time homebuyers and consumer demand for multifamily rental properties.

While jobs in the real estate industry totaled 1,395,000 jobs in September ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a 5.5-percent downward shift from new employment figures over August ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô new faces in rental and leasing services came out to 6.6 percent, with the industry creating about 521,000 jobs over the same period.

The financial services sector reported only 7,603,000 jobs overall ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an 8-percent decline from August to September, reflecting job-slashing and restructuring moves by mortgage giants like ""Bank of America"":https://www.bankofamerica.com/, which more recently announced that it would lay off 30,000 workers and pull out from the mortgage correspondent business.

Homebuilders averaged some 1,236,000 employees in hires, signaling a 15-percent upward shift from August to September.

Speaking with _MReport_, ""Paul Dales"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-dales.html, a senior U.S. economist with consultancy ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, calls the ""big picture"" for construction employment ""still pretty weak.

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""We know that homebuilders aren't producing that many new homes at the moment and that means there will be only modest growth"" going forward, he says.

""Businesses haven't been quite as cautious as maybe we thought,"" he says of the employment figures, calling these ""a relief really, but in the grand scheme of things, over 100,000 a month is consistent with a very weak economy.""

Polyana da Costa, a mortgage reporter for finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/, attributes the jobs facelift to a recently ended Verizon strike. She also says that mortgage rates will likely move up from ""record lows reported Thursday"":https://themreport.com/articles/mortgage-rates-drop-below-4-for-first-time-2011-10-06 in the short-term but fall flat once more when investors see less improvement.

Other figures in the jobs report showed far more dramatic losses for government jobs, which ""Gary Shilling"":http://www.agaryshilling.com/gary.html, president of ""A. Gary Shilling & Co."":http://www.agaryshilling.com/, called ""usually a source of stable, high-paid jobs"" in a past interview with _MReport_.

Payroll figures for the local government reported 14,076,000 jobs by September, not enough to stave off a 35-percent plunge in employment numbers from August. Local governments laid off teachers and other education personnel to the tune of 24 percent from last month, adding 7,833 jobs as the economy headed into September.

Despite sharp cuts to the government payroll, ""Labor Secretary Hilda Solis"":http://www.dol.gov/_sec/welcome.htm cast the jobs picture in a better light in a ""statement"":http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/corrected-statement-by-secretary-of-labor-hilda-l-solis-on-september-employment-numbers-131329034.html by expressing encouragement ""by much of the recent data we're seeing, but we know more must be done to speed our recovery.""

She went on to praise the American Jobs Act, which she said independent analysis suggests could ""create as many as 1.9 million jobs and increase economic growth by as much as two percentage points, if enacted.""

When will market watchers see the jobs front on a rebound?

Da Costa ties still-tight lending standards and low consumer confidence back to a cyclical ""chicken-and-egg"" problem that prevents a housing recovery from delivering an economic recovery and vice versa.

""You need the housing market to improve in order for the economy to improve, but until the economy improves, how will the housing market improve?"" she says. ""We're locked in this situation where buyers don't want to move until the economy improves.

""Job security is a big thing right now,"" she adds, highlighting the still-high unemployment rate, which hovers at 9.1 percent Friday despite the job numbers. ""People don├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót feel safe in their jobs and many don├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót qualify for a mortgage,"" and the economic situation will likely continue dampening a housing rebound until job security improves.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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