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Oct payroll employment continues to trend up (+80,000); jobless rate (9.0%) changes little

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October (+80,000). The unemployment rate was little changed (9.0%). Employment in the private sector rose, with modest job growth continuing in professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining. Government...
 

Commissioner's Statement 
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics                               
                                
                           before the
                    Joint Economic Committee
                     UNITED STATES CONGRESS
                                
                    Friday, November 4, 2011


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

     Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and
unemployment data we released this morning.
     
     Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October
(+80,000), and the unemployment rate, at 9.0 percent, was little
changed.  Over the past 12 months, payroll employment has
increased by an average of 125,000 per month.
     
     In October, private-sector employment increased by 104,000,
with continued growth in professional and business services,
leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining.  Government
employment continued to trend down.
     
     Employment in professional and business services continued
to trend up in October (+32,000).  In recent months, there have
been modest job gains in temporary help services and in
management and technical consulting services.
     
     Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up
over the month (+22,000).  Since a recent low in January 2010,
the industry has added 344,000 jobs.
     
     Health care employment edged up by 12,000 in October,
following a gain of 45,000 in September.  The two-month average
increase of 29,000 was in line with the industry’s recent trend.
In October, offices of physicians gained 8,000 jobs.
     
     Mining employment continued to expand in October (+6,000).
Since October 2009, mining has added 152,000 jobs, largely due to
gains in support activities for mining.
     
     Construction employment was down by 20,000 in October,
largely offsetting a gain in the prior month.  Both over-the-
month movements largely occurred in nonresidential construction
industries.  Employment in other major private-sector industries
changed little in October.
     
     Employment in government continued to trend down (-24,000).
State government, excluding education, lost 16,000 jobs over the
month.  Employment in both state government and local government
has been falling since the second half of 2008.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 5 cents to $23.19 in October, following a gain
of 6 cents in September.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have risen by 1.8 percent.  From September 2010 to
September 2011, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U) increased by 3.9 percent.
     
      Turning now to measures from our survey of households, the
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.0 percent in
October.  The jobless rate has held in a narrow range from 9.0 to
9.2 percent since April.  In October, there were 13.9 million
unemployed persons, little changed from the prior month. The
number of persons jobless for 27 weeks and over declined by
366,000 to 5.9 million, or 42.4 percent of total unemployment.
      
      The employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, was
little changed in October.  Among the employed, those working
part time for economic reasons fell by 374,000, to 8.9 million.
      
     The labor force participation rate, at 64.2 percent, was
unchanged over the month.  Thus far in 2011, the participation
rate has held at about 64 percent.
     
     Among those outside of the labor force--persons neither
working nor looking for work--the number of discouraged workers
in October was 967,000, down from 1.2 million a year earlier.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up
in October (+80,000).  The unemployment rate was little changed
at 9.0 percent.
     
     My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your
questions.

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- OCTOBER 2011 Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October (+80,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in the private sector rose, with modest job growth continuing in professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining. Government employment continued to trend down.

Household Survey Data Both the number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.0 percent) changed little over the month. The unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent since April. (See table A-1.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate declined for blacks (15.1 percent) in October, while the rates for adult men (8.8 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (24.1 percent), whites (8.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.4 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) declined by 366,000 to 5.9 million, or 42.4 percent of total unemployment. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate remained at 64.2 percent in October, and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 58.4 percent. (See table A-1.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) decreased by 374,000 to 8.9 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. (See table A-8.)

In October, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as 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 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 967,000 discouraged workers in October, a decrease of 252,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October (+80,000). Over the past 12 months, payroll employment has increased by an average of 125,000 per month. In October, private-sector employment increased by 104,000, with continued job growth in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining.

Government employment continued to contract in October. (See table B-1.) Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in October (+32,000) and has grown by 562,000 over the past 12 months. Within the industry, there have been modest job gains in recent months in temporary help services and in management and technical consulting services.

Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up over the month (+22,000). Since a recent low point in January 2010, the industry has added 344,000 jobs. Health care employment continued to expand in October 2011 (+12,000), following a gain of 45,000 in September. Offices of physicians added 8,000 jobs in October. Over the past 12 months, health care has added 313,000 jobs.

In October, mining employment continued to increase (+6,000); oil and gas extraction accounted for half of the increase. Since a recent low point in October 2009, mining employment has risen by 152,000. Manufacturing employment changed little in October 2011 (+5,000) and has remained flat for 3 months. In October, a job gain in transportation equipment (+10,000) was partly offset by small losses in other manufacturing industries. Within retail trade, employment increased in general merchandise stores (+10,000) and in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+6,000) in October. Retail trade has added 156,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Construction employment declined by 20,000 in October, largely offsetting an increase of 27,000 in September; both over-the-month changes largely occurred in nonresidential construction. Employment in both residential and nonresidential construction has shown little net change in 2011. Employment in other major private-sector industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities, changed little in October.

Government employment continued to trend down over the month (-24,000), with most of the October decline in the non-educational component of state government. Employment in both state government and local government has been trending down since the second half of 2008. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in October. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours, and factory overtime remained at 3.2 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. (See tables B-2 and B-7.) In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $23.19. This increase followed a gain of 6 cents in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.8 percent.

In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.53. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +57,000 to +104,000, and the change for September was revised from +103,000 to +158,000.

______________

The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 2, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EST). _________________________________________________________________________ Administrative Changes to Household Survey
In January 2012, the Census Bureau, which conducts the household survey, will begin a year-long process of reorganizing its regional office structure. For more information on these Census Bureau changes, see www.census.gov/newsroom/pdf/General_QAs_FINAL2.pdf. Both the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will monitor survey operations during the transition period. No impact on the employment and unemployment estimates from the survey is anticipated from this organizational change. |________________________________________________________________________|

The PDF version of the news release Table of Contents Last Modified Date: November 04, 2011

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