First, the September jobs report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics came in better than expected with payrolls expanding by 103,000 last month while July and August totals were revised higher by a combined 99,000. Government shed 34,000 jobs last month, and private sector employers added 137,000 led by professional and business services (+48,000), education and health services (+45,000) and information (+34,000), although the latter sector was inflated by the return of 45,000 striking Verizon workers to the labor force. Also worth noting: retailers added 13,600 jobs, suggesting they have an optimistic outlook for consumer spending. Other details: the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent, average weekly hours rose 0.1 percent and average hourly earnings were up 4 cents. While the September report is good news compared with last month’s preliminary report that zero jobs were created in August, the labor market is still not growing fast enough to begin absorbing the nation’s long-term unemployed.