Profit Confidential Comments on Strong October Jobs Data Actually Masking Weak Underlying Economic Conditions

Profit Confidential is weighing in on October’s employment data and says solid numbers belie underlying economic conditions.

Profit Confidential (, an e-letter of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, a 29-year-old consumer publisher that has served over one million customers in 141 countries, is commenting on October jobs data and its belief that strong numbers actually masking underlying troubles with the U.S. economy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced recently that 271,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in October as the unemployment rate fell slightly to five percent. This represents the biggest one-month gain in jobs in 2015 and beat analysts forecast of approximately 180,000 jobs. (Source: “The Employment Situation – October 2015,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, November 6, 2015;

“On the surface, it was a strong jobs market report. But take a closer look and the jobs market numbers for October tell another story,” says economist and lead contributor Michael Lombardi. “In the first 10 months of 2015, an average 206,000 jobs have been added each month, but in the first 10 months of 2014, the average was 236,000 each month. That means this year’s job market is actually performing 13% worse than last year.

The underemployment rate, which includes people who have given up looking for work and those who have part-time jobs only because they can’t find full-time ones, remains stubbornly high at around 10%.

The labor market has remained stagnant since the so-called recovery in the U.S. economy began. In light of the poor jobs market, retail sales growth has been consistently deteriorating. On top of that, 45 million Americans are using some form of food stamps—a number that hasn’t come down in years. Before the financial crisis and economic recovery, 26 million Americans received food stamps. (Source: “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation and Costs,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service web site;, last accessed November 19, 2015.)

“The U.S. jobs market continues to struggle and it is impacting consumer spending, as the chart above clearly shows,” Lombardi concludes. “With job growth this year sitting 13% below last year’s job growth, it’s easy to remain pessimistic about the U.S. economy going into 2016.”

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