US September Jobs Report Misses, Amid Fed Tapering Speculation

August’s jobs number was revised up by 131,000. Bitcoin prices hold steady after the report.

AccessTimeIconOct 8, 2021 at 12:47 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:52 p.m. UTC

U.S. jobs rose by 194,000 in September, well below economists’ average estimate for a gain of 500,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.

But the data was mixed, with August’s jobs number revised upward by 131,000.

The combination may give the U.S. Federal Reserve more flexibility after Chair Jerome Powell signaled recently that the central bank looked to be on track to start tapering its $120 billion-a-month in bond purchases – a form of monetary stimulus – later this year.

“Overall, this looks like a ‘decent’ enough labor report to allow the Fed to proceed with the taper in November, as flagged at the last FOMC meeting,” Fitch Rating’s Chief Economist Brian Coulton said in an emailed statement, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee.

The concern among bitcoiners is that they would no longer be able to count on the Fed bringing more liquidity to the markets through quantitative easing (the policy of buying longer-term securities from the open market), which in the past has given investors the green light to keep putting money into riskier assets. The bitcoin price was holding steady after the report around $55,000.

“Powell made it clear we’re right on the edge,” said former Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm. A jobs gain of “200,000 or more will push [the Fed] to ‘further substantial progress,’” a phrase that Powell has used to describe the precondition for tapering.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2% in August, according to the report.

The labor force participation rate – the percentage of the American population that is either working or actively looking for work – was down slightly to 61.6% from 61.7% in August.

The employment-to-population ratio, which measures the number of people employed against the total working-age population, ticked up to 58.7% from 58.5% in August.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nate DiCamillo

Nate DiCamillo is a business reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on banking and economics.