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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- OCTOBER 2015
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October, and the
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and
business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking
places, and construction.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate (5.0 percent) and the number of unemployed persons
(7.9 million) were essentially unchanged in October. Over the past 12 months,
the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.7
percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent),
adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), whites (4.4 percent), blacks
(9.2 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.3 percent) showed little
or no change in October. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was
essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since
June. These individuals accounted for 26.8 percent of the unemployed in October.
(See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.4 percent in
October, following a decline of 0.2 percentage point in September. The employment-
population ratio, at 59.3 percent, changed little in October and has shown
little movement over the past year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) edged down by 269,000 to 5.8 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. Over the past 12
months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons has declined
by 1.2 million. (See table A-8.)
In October, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 276,000 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. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 665,000 discouraged workers in October,
little changed 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 1.3 million persons
marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October. Over the
prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 230,000 per month. In October,
job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail
trade, food services and drinking places, and construction. (See table B-1.)
Employment in professional and business services increased by 78,000 in October,
compared with an average gain of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
In October, job gains occurred in administrative and support services (+46,000),
computer systems design and related services (+10,000), and architectural
and engineering services (+8,000).
Health care added 45,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment
growth continued in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and in hospitals
(+18,000). Over the past year, health care has added 495,000 jobs.
Employment in retail trade rose by 44,000 in October, compared with an average
monthly gain of 25,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job gains occurred
in clothing and accessories stores (+20,000), general merchandise stores
(+11,000), and automobile dealers (+6,000).
Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October. Over the year,
the industry has added 368,000 jobs.
Construction employment increased by 31,000 in October, following little
employment change in recent months. Employment in nonresidential specialty
trade contractors rose by 21,000. Over the past 12 months, construction has
added 233,000 jobs.
Employment in mining continued to trend down in October (-5,000). The
industry has shed 109,000 jobs since reaching a recent employment peak in
Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale
trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities,
and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained
at 34.5 hours in October. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour
to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The
average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private
nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2
In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 9 cents to $25.20, following little change in September
(+1 cent). Hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent over the year. Average
hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
increased by 9 cents to $21.18 in October. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised
from +136,000 to +153,000, and the change for September was revised from
+142,000 to +137,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August
and September combined were 12,000 more than previously reported. Over
the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 187,000 per month.
The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on
Friday, December 4, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).