US Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.1% in November
US unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 281,000 to 6.5 million. Since January, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.7 percentage point, and the number of unemployed persons has decreased by 1.1 million. It is the lowest unemployment rate since February 2001.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.6 percent) and Whites (3.5 percent) declined in October. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8 percent), teenagers (13.7 percent), Blacks (7.5 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little change.
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In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.6 million and accounted for 24.8 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.4 percentage point to 62.7 percent in October but has shown little movement on net over the past 12 months. The employment- population ratio declined by 0.2 percentage point over the month to 60.2 percent, after increasing by 0.3 percentage point in September. The employment-population ratio is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 369,000 to 4.8 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time
because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs. Over the past 12 months, the number of involuntary part-time workers has decreased by 1.1 million.
In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed 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.
Meanwhile, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October. Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In October, job gains also occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.