Sept. Jobs Report: Could it be Wrong?

Oct 5, 2012 7:48am

Morning Business Memo

This morning’s Labor Department September employment survey has the power to move markets and impact the presidential race. But says economist Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers in St. Louis: “It is a mistake to place too much emphasis on any one month’s number.” The number can bounce around a great deal and is often subject to major revisions. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the standard error of forecasting monthly changes of employment is 100,000.” The estimate of how many workers found a job last month is far from being an exact count.

The US jobless rate is expected to remain above 8 percent. The average forecast of economists for the number of jobs added by employers last month is about 110,000 . For the past five months the average has been 87,000. So this is a little better than that but still not enough jump start the employment market. “My estimation is that labor markets are going to remain pretty sluggish for the next six to nine months,” says Prakken.

Apple’s biggest smartphone competitor, Samsung Electronics, has just reported an all-time high quarterly profit. That’s the fourth straight record in a row. Most of the earnings increase comes from smartphones. Samsung’s July-September operating income nearly doubled from a year earlier to $7.3 billion.

Once it was an online sensation but right now game maker Zynga is struggling and says it expects to report a loss for the third quarter amid a lack of demand for its games. Shares of Zynga plunged after the announcement, falling 20 percent in after-hours trading.

Greece’s prime minister says his country can survive until the end of November without receiving the next planned installment of its international bailout loans. Officials from the European Commission, IMF, and European Central Bank are in Athens, looking at Greece’s progress in complying with terms for receiving the next round of aid.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc

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