U.S. gains jobs in September, but unemployment stagnant

by Greta Kaul

The addition of 103,000 jobs to the nation’s economy in September — a modest hiring bump — was not enough to boost the unemployment rate from a third straight month at 9.1 percent, the Associated Press reports.

Nearly half of September’s 103,000 jobs are attributable to Verizon’s re-hire of 45,000 striking workers, the AP said. Otherwise, construction, retail, temporary health services and health care were growing job sectors. Manufacturing jobs have been cut for the second straight month.

Many Americans work part-time, but would rather work full-time. Others have given up looking for jobs. Either way, consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy and its recovery, highly correlated with employment, is an integral part of a U.S. recovery.

President Barack Obama pitched a nearly $450 billion package Thursday. He said the bill would bolster the U.S. economy, creating jobs through tax cuts ad public works spending. In light of the European debt crisis, Obama urged Americans and Congress to support the bill to prevent prolonging the recession. Republicans voiced opposition for a tax raise on millionaires that Obama endorsed to pay for the jobs bill, the AP said.

“If the goal is to create jobs, then why are we even talking about tax hikes?” Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the AP Thursday.