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WASHINGTON, DC-It is difficult to find even a small measure of comfort in Friday’s surprisingly large unemployment numbers–until that is, you talk with Cushman & Wakefield’s Ken McCarthy, managing director of Research in the New York area.

Not that he is sugar-coating the gravity of the numbers: “they were disappointing because they were larger than expected.” However, he does point to two components in the figures that suggest a recovery is closer than these numbers portray.

The US unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in September, from 9.7% in August according to the Labor Department, which reported that the economy lost a net total of 263,000 jobs that month. In August, the economy shed 201,000, according to downwardly revised figures. The increase in unemployment was a slap to Wall Street’s expectations, which had been projecting 180,000 job losses.

Consider the following, though, McCarthy says. One of the reasons for the jump was the decline in government jobs. That sector dropped 53,000 positions, some of which were summer jobs. It is also becoming more difficult to adjust seasonal projections for teachers, he says. “Historically teachers leave in May and come back in August. Fewer are doing that.”

Also buried in the headline news is the improvement in ‘office using’ sector jobs–the three major employers of financial services, professional services and information or media companies. This category led the plunge in unemployment last year when the financial service industry tanked. Last month, though, these jobs only declined by 18,000. “That is bad, but not as bad as what we saw over the previous 12 months,” McCarthy says. In fact, it may even be a bottom.

Another reason to hope a recovery is on hand, according to Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers’ research director Kevin Thorpe, is the simple fact that the labor markets lag the economy. “There have been signs of economic improvement and I do anticipate a strong GDP in Q4.” Also, he tells GlobeSt.com: “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that despite the disappointing numbers, the pace of job losses is still decelerating from earlier this year.”

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