October added 80,000 jobs, unemployment at 9%

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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