THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — OCTOBER 2009
The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The largest job losses over the month were in con struction, manufacturing, and retail trade.
In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent, the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.7 percent) and whites (9.5 percent) rose in October. The jobless rates for adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (27.6 percent), blacks (15.7 percent), and Hispanics (13.1 percent) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed over the month at 5.6 million. In October, 35.6 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-9.)
The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed over the month at 65.1 percent. The employment-population ratio continued to decline in October, falling to 58.5 percent. (See table A-1.) The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in October at 9.3 million. 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-5.)
About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, reflecting an increase of 736,000 from 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-13.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 808,000 discouraged workers in October, up from 484,000 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 other 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.
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 190,000 in October. In the most recent 3 months, job losses have averaged 188,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 357,000 during the prior 3 months. In contrast, losses averaged 645,000 per month from November 2008 to April 2009. Since December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 7.3 million. (See table B-1.)
Construction employment decreased by 62,000 in October. Monthly job losses have averaged 67,000 during the most recent 6 months, compared with an average decline of 117,000 during the prior 6 months. October job losses were concentrated in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-30,000) and in heavy construction (-14,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million.
Manufacturing continued to shed jobs (-61,000) in October, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods production. Over the past 4 months, job losses in manufacturing have averaged 51,000 per month, compared with an average monthly loss of 161,000 from October 2008 through June 2009. Manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million since December 2007
Retail trade lost 40,000 jobs in October. Employment declines were concentrated in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-16,000) and in department stores (-11,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 18,000 in October.
Health care employment continued to increase in October (29,000). Since the start of the recession, health care has added 597,000 jobs.
Temporary help services has added 44,000 jobs since July, including 34,000 in October. From January 2008 through July 2009, temporary help services had lost an average of 44,000 jobs per month.
The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.0 hours in October. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 40.0 hours, and factory overtime increased by 0.2 hour over the month. (See table B-2.)
In October, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $18.72. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent, while average weekly earnings have risen by only 0.9 percent due to declines in the average workweek. (See table B-3.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from -201,000 to -154,000, and the change for September was revised from -263,000 to -219,000.
- Employment Situation Frequently Asked Questions
- Employment Situation Technical Note
- Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
- Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
- Table A-3. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex and age
- Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment
- Table A-5. Employed persons by class of worker and part-time status
- Table A-6. Selected employment indicators
- Table A-7. Selected unemployment indicators, seasonally adjusted
- Table A-8. Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment
- Table A-9. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment
- Table A-10. Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-11. Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-12. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
- Table A-13. Persons not in the labor force and multiple jobholders by sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-2. Average weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory workers (1) on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-3. Average hourly and weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers (1) on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-4. Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers (1) on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-5. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory workers (1) on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-6. Indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls of production and nonsupervisory workers (1) on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-7. Diffusion indexes of employment change
- HTML version of the entire news release
- Access to historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation Release
- Access to historical data for the “B” tables of the Employment Situation Release
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