Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0%. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 230,000 per month – which is quite an excellent result. We are still recovering from the job losses suffered during the great recession but even considering that the results are excellent.
As my recent post noted, adding 50,000 jobs a month is the new 150,000 in the USA due to demographic changes. That means job gains in the last year have added about 180,000 jobs per month above the 50,000 needed to accommodate growth due to demographic changes (a larger population of adults.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +136,000 to +153,000, and the change for September was revised from +142,000 to +137,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 12,000 more than previously reported.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate (5.0%) and the number of unemployed persons (7.9 million) were essentially unchanged in October. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate dropped by 70 basis (from 5.7%) and 1.1 million fewer people are listed as unemployed.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7%), adult women (4.5%), teenagers (15.9%), whites (4.4%), blacks (9.2%), Asians (3.5%), and Hispanics (6.3%) showed little or no change in October.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since June. These individuals accounted for 26.8% of the unemployed in October.
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.4% in October, following a decline of 0.2 percentage point in September. The civilian labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly low as jobs have been added to the economy quickly over the last few years. This has resulted in the unemployment rate falling more quickly than if (as usually happens) the better job prospects bring people back into the labor force (and back into looking for work – even those than gave up for awhile while the job market was bad).
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) edged down by 269,000 to 5.8 million in October. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons has declined by 1.2 million.
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 78,000 in October, compared with an average gain of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Health care added 45,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth continued in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and in hospitals (+18,000). Over the past year, health care has added 495,000 jobs.
Employment in retail trade rose by 44,000 in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 25,000 over the prior 12 months. Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October. Over the year,
the industry has added 368,000 jobs. Construction employment increased by 31,000 in October, following little employment change in recent months. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 233,000 jobs.
Employment in mining continued to trend down in October (-5,000). The industry has shed 109,000 jobs since reaching a recent employment peak in December 2014.
Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.5 hours in October. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $25.20, following little change in September (+1 cent). Hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent over the year. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 9 cents to $21.18 in October.
Related: USA Adds Another 255,000 Jobs. Unemployment Rate To 7.9% (October 2012) – USA Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs in October and Revisions Add 110,000 More (2010) – USA Unemployment Rate Reached 10.2% (October 2009) – Over 500,000 Jobs Disappeared in November 2008