Economy adds 171,000 jobs in October

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October. Employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month thus far in 2012, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In October, employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.

Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, with gains in services to buildings and dwellings (+13,000) and in computer systems design (+7,000). Temporary help employment changed little in October and has shown little net change over the past 3 months. Employment in professional and business services has grown by 1.6 million since its most recent low point in September 2009.

Health care added 31,000 jobs in October. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+25,000) and hospitals (+6,000). Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 296,000.

Retail trade added 36,000 jobs in October, with gains in motor vehicles and parts dealers (+7,000), and in furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000). Retail trade has added 82,000 jobs over the past 3 months, with most of the gain occurring in motor vehicles and parts dealers, clothing and accessories stores, and miscellaneous store retailers.

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up (+28,000) over the month. This industry has added 811,000 jobs since a recent low point in January 2010, with most of the gain occurring in food services.

Employment in construction edged up in October. The gain was concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+17,000).

Manufacturing employment changed little in October. On net, manufacturing employment has shown little change since April.

Mining lost 9,000 jobs in October, with most of the decline occurring in support activities for mining. Since May of this year, employment in mining has decreased by 17,000.

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

In October, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.4 hours for the fourth consecutive month. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 1 cent to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.6 percent. In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 1 cent to $19.79.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +142,000 to +192,000, and the change for September was revised from +114,000 to +148,000.

The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

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