U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls up 80K in October, Unemployment Rate at 9%

U.S. 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 on November 4. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up over the month (+22,000). Health care employment continued to expand in October 2011 (+12,000), following a gain of 45,000 in September.

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.

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.

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.

TradingEconomics.com, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
11/4/2011 12:44:37 PM