This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Employment Situation report for October. The report showed that while the unemployment rate dipped to 9% last month from September’s 9.1% mark, the economy added only 80,000 jobs – fewer than what economists had projected.
Other notable take-aways from the report include:
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 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.
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.
Additionally, the report revised up past month’s jobs numbers – to 158,000 from 103,000 in September and to 104,000 from 57,000 in August. MarketWatch offers a promising assessment saying, “The revisions add to a spate of data showing faster economic growth after a lull in the late spring and early summer. The newly revised employment figures also show the U.S. is not in immediate danger of falling into another recession, an event that seemed quite possible just a few months ago.”
While it’s certainly encouraging to see the economy actually adding jobs, the rate at which companies are hiring is still too low. Tempering the optimism it offered, MarketWatch added the caveat, “while the latest government data paints a picture of an improved economy, the U.S. is still adding jobs at a historically slow pace following the end of the brutal 2007-2009 recession. The nation has 6 million fewer jobs now than it did before the downturn.” Lawmakers must make the necessary spending reforms to make room for a recovery led by businesses and the American worker.
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