CNBC hosts were surprised Friday to learn that the U.S. economy had added a “real low” number of jobs in September.
“I see 194,000. That is real low,” CNBC’s Steve Liesman said of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment situation summary, adding that the consensus of economists had been around 500,00.
“Wow!” host Becky Quick exclaimed after Liesman read out the number.
“It was definitely a weaker number than expected. I think the factors … being responsible here you still have the COVID-19 issues,” Liesman said.
He then commented on the unexpectedly robust hiring in the private sector, which added 568,000 jobs in September, showing a sharp increase from the 340,000 jobs added in August, according to ADP National Employment Report.
The steep increase of jobs in the private sector combined with a lower-than-expected overall growth, however, indicates that the government experienced a decline in employment, Liesman added. (RELATED: Inflation Hits Another Multi-Decade High After Fed Boosts Projection)
“Government, minus 123 [thousand], with a big decline in local government education. So, I guess you had an addition in August, came off in September. That leisure and hospitality, eh, 74,000. That’s not the kind of numbers we need from that sector to drive the employment,” he said.
The economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report’s release gave the median estimate of 500,000 jobs added in September. However, even the lowest forecast of 250,000 came out to be much higher than the growth actually recorded during that time.