(MoneyWatch) Good news: Before the September employment report is released, the government has found 386,000 additional jobs! The Bureau of Labor Statistics made its preliminary annual benchmark revision as of March 2012 (the final tally will be released next February) and determined that an additional 453,000 private jobs were added in the U.S. economy, but there were 67,000 fewer government jobs added. For the 12 months between March 2011 and March 2012, the economy added 2.4 million jobs, or an average of 200,000 per month.
Conspiracy theorists can relax: The 0.3 percent variation is the average variance over the last 10 years. Since the jobs market has been pretty pokey during this recovery, we'll take every tenth of a percent and hope that future revisions to this year's job creation will be similarly nudged higher.
Analysts expect that 115,000 jobs were created in September and the unemployment rate should remain at 8.1 percent. With the economy growing by only 1.5 percent annually, it's hard to see how companies will take the risk of adding more employees. Perhaps the best news may be that state and local governments should stop cutting workers, which will stop and the drag on total job creation. In 2009, state and local governments lost 129,000 jobs; in 2010, it was 262,000 and in 2011, 280,000.
Don't bring up the punk jobs situation when talking to investors, though. The third quarter saw smart gains and September, usually the worst month for stocks, defied history and advanced.
-- DJIA: 13,437, down 1% on week, up 2.6% on month, up 4.3% on quarter, up 10% on year
-- S&P 500: 1,440, down 1.3% on week, up 2.4% on month, up 5.7% on quarter, up 14.5% on year
-- NASDAQ: 3,116, down 2% on week, up 1.6% on month, up 6.1% on quarter, up 19.6% on year
-- October Crude Oil: $92.10
-- December Gold: $1,774.40
-- AAA National Average Price for Gallon of Regular Gas: $3.79
THE WEEK AHEAD:
10:00 ISM Manufacturing
10:00 Construction Spending
September Auto Sales
7:00 MBA mortgage purchase applications index
8:15 ADP Private sector jobs
10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing
Chain Store Sales
8:30 Weekly jobless claims
7:30 Challenger, Gray & Christmas job cuts
10:00 Factory Orders
2:00 FOMC Minutes
8:30 September Jobs Report
3:00 Consumer Credit