US employers added 148,000 workers according to the latest jobs report, a fair amount less than the median forecast of 180,000 (from Bloomberg's economist survey). Moreover, private payrolls came in at just 126,000 - the second lowest month in 2013. Is this a sign the economy is slowing, or is it just noise? The long-term employment trend remains stable at right around 2% growth per year. As long as that number stays steady (or grows), then I don't see reason for concern. Regardless, given this data point and the government shutdown, there's virtually no way the Fed will be tapering in 2013. Keep in mind, the employment picture could be murky over the next month or two because of distortions from the government shutdown.