For the second month in a row, the labor market report created more questions than answers.

Confusion is the result of the labor market report from Friday. For the second month in a row, the data reflected a mixed job environment. The corporate survey, which is generally viewed as the more reliable one with lower volatility, reported nonfarm growth of only 194,000 in September. Investors were expecting more than 500,000. Private sector job growth was 265,000 while government jobs dropped by 123,000, with state and local government jobs declining by 101,000. This may have been a seasonal adjustment problem. Education jobs did not increase in August as they normally do, so September reflects a better count of those positions.