U.S. businesses added 151,000 jobs in October; unemployment rate remains at 9.6%

RP news wires
Tags: business management, talent management

Non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on November 5. Since December 2009, non-farm payroll employment has risen by 874,000.

Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8 million, was little changed in October. The unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent and has been essentially unchanged since May.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (27.1 percent), whites (8.8 percent), blacks (15.7 percent) and Hispanics (12.6 percent) showed little change in October. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was about unchanged over the month at 6.2 million. In October, 41.8 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.5 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, edged down over the month.  

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 318,000 over the month to 9.2 million, partially offsetting large increases in the prior two months. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in October, an increase of 411,000 from a year earlier. (The data is not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in October, reflecting job gains in mining and a number of service-providing industries. Private-sector payroll employment rose by 159,000 over the month; since December 2009, employment in the private sector has risen by 1.1 million.

Within professional and business services, employment in temporary help services continued to increase in October, with a gain of 35,000. Temporary help services has added 451,000 jobs since a recent low in September 2009. Employment in computer systems design and related services increased by 8,000 in October and has risen by 53,000 since a recent low in June 2009.

Health care continued to add jobs in October (+24,000). The gain was in line with the average increase over the prior 12 months (+20,000).

Retail trade employment rose by 28,000 in October, including increases in automobile dealers (+6,000) and in electronics and appliance stores (+5,000). After reaching a trough in December 2009, employment in retail trade has expanded by 128,000.

Within leisure and hospitality, a job loss in arts, entertainment and recreation (-26,000) in October offset a gain in food services and drinking places employment (+24,000). The food services industry has added 143,000 jobs since a recent low in December 2009.

Mining employment continued to trend up (+8,000) over the month. Since a recent low in October 2009, mining has added 88,000 jobs.

Employment in manufacturing changed little in October (-7,000) and, on net, has essentially been flat since May. The industry had added 134,000 jobs during the first five months of this year.

Elsewhere in the private sector, employment in construction, wholesale trade, transportation, information and financial activities showed little change in October.

Government employment overall was little changed in October. Employment in local government, excluding education, decreased by 14,000 over the month and has fallen by 123,000 over the past 12 months. The number of temporary decennial census workers fell by 5,000 in October.  After peaking at 564,000 in May, there were only about 1,000 temporary decennial census workers remaining on Federal payrolls in October.

The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour in October to 34.3 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees also increased by 0.1 hour, to 40.3 hours, while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours in October.

In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $22.73. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.7 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents to $19.17.

The change in total non-farm payroll employment for August was revised from -57,000 to -1,000, and the change for September was revised from -95,000 to -41,000.


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