US Jobless Rate Holds Steady at 49-Year Low


The US unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in October 2018, unchanged from the previous month's 49-year low and in line with market expectations. The number of unemployed increased by 111 thousand to 6.08 million and employment rose by 600 thousand to 156.56 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change in October.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4 percentage point over the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (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. Among the marginally attached, there were 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about unchanged from a year earlier. (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 984,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

US Jobless Rate Holds Steady at 49-Year Low


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
11/2/2018 1:06:34 PM