Job news gives unexpected lift

  • @davidprosserind

The struggling US economy got an unexpected lift yesterday as new figures showed it created many more jobs than expected last month – estimates of past months' job creation were also raised.

The Department of Labor said 103,000 new jobs were created in September, some 40,000 more than expected. The private sector added 137,000 people to the workforce, with the public sector's continued job shedding bringing the total figure down. The figures also show that 99,000 more jobs were created in July and August than previously thought.

The data boosted US stock markets and will also have come as a fillip for President Obama, who has faced criticism for his seeming inability to tackle unemployment.

However, the US jobless rate remained a 9.1 per cent, the Department of Labor said, a figure described as "unacceptably high" by a White House spokesman. "Clearly, we need faster growth to put Americans back to work."

Nevertheless, the data will be seen as encouraging amid fears that the recovery of the world's largest economy has hit stall speed, jeopardising hopes for stronger growth around the globe.