September Jobs Report a Pleasant Surprise

Employment grew more than expected in September.

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For his part, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also wasted no time in using the report as a springboard for attacking the president's political strategy: "There were far too few jobs created this month, which shows the need to spend less time making campaign style speeches and more time trying to work together to identify policies that we both can agree will create an environment for job creation."

The report's effect on Federal Reserve policy, meanwhile, is debatable. It may, as Roda believes, show that the recovery is solid enough to continue without new monetary policy. "This data in and of itself isn't data that would give the Fed more impetus to resort to new measures," says Roda. Gault, however, disagrees. Given September's net job creation of 58,000 (subtracting the returned Verizon workers), he says, he believes that Fed action is almost certain without a substantial improvement in job growth: "If we stay at that number, I think we still get QE3 (a new round of monetary stimulus through purchases of government bonds) because that's just not enough. That absolutely is not enough to reduce unemployment."

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