By Josh Newell

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Friday’s September jobs report was generally as
expected, illustrating still weak private sector growth, according to
the chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Payrolls growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ establishment
survey was rather weak, as the NFIB forecast, William Dunkelberg told
MNI in an interview.

“The private sector is still weak, not going into a recession by
any means, but growth is weak,” said Dunkelberg.

The one sector that did surprise was manufacturing, “Manufacturing
was the only sector that posted a meaningful gain in payrolls in our
small business survey, so we were a little surprised with the
manufacturing number in today’s report,” he said.

Manufacturing payrolls declined by 16,000 in September, after being
downwardly revised to a 22,000 drop in August — compared with a 15,000
decrease initially reported.

Dunkelberg was not sure if the exact reason for the divergence
between the BLS report and the NFIB survey but said that this does not
necessarily mean that small manufacturing businesses shed jobs in

“Declining exports could be causing larger manufacturers to be
losing jobs,” he said.

While the establishment survey was generally as expected, the
household survey section of the report did cause quite a surprise.

According to Dunkelberg, “Everything was expected except for the
household data. That was very inconsistent.”

The household survey showed a decline in the unemployment rate to
7.8% from 8.1% in August, and a jump of 873,000 in those employed.

“You don’t get that kind of job creation with the GDP growth we
have,” said Dunkelberg, who mentioned that the last time the U.S. had
this kind of a monthly increase, the economy was growing at an 8% pace.

“Maybe we are currently growing faster than the 1.3% pace from the
second quarter, but we certainly aren’t growing fast enough to create
800,000 jobs a month,” he concluded.

–Joshua Newell is a reporter for Need to Know News in Washington

** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **