Commissioner's Statement on The Employment Situation

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

                          Statement of

                        Erica L. Groshen
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics

                    Friday, November 6, 2015

      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 271,000 in October, and 
the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0 percent. 
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health 
care, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and 

      Incorporating revisions for August and September, which 
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 12,000, on net, monthly 
job gains averaged 187,000 over the past 3 months. In the 12 
months prior to October, employment growth averaged 230,000 per 

      Employment in professional and business services rose by 
78,000 in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 
52,000 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).

      The health care industry added 45,000 jobs in October. Over 
the month, employment rose by 27,000 in ambulatory health care 
services (which includes offices of physicians and home health 
care) and by 18,000 in hospitals. Over the year, health care has 
added 495,000 jobs, with about a third of the gain in hospitals.

      Retail trade employment grew 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).

      Within the leisure and hospitality industry, employment in 
food services and drinking places rose by 42,000 in October and 
by 368,000 over the year.

      Construction added 31,000 jobs in October, following little 
change in recent months. Over the month, nonresidential 
specialty trade contractors added 21,000 jobs. Over the past 12 
months, construction employment has increased by 233,000.

      Employment in mining continued to trend down in October  
(-5,000). Since reaching a recent peak in December 2014, 
employment in this industry has declined by 109,000. 
Manufacturing employment was unchanged over the month and has 
shown little net change thus far this year.

      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 9 cents in October to $25.20, following little 
change (+1 cent) in September. Over the past 12 months, average 
hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From September 2014 
to September 2015, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban 
Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged (on a seasonally adjusted 

      Turning to measures from the household survey, both the 
unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed 
persons, at 7.9 million, were essentially unchanged in October. 
These measures were down by 0.7 percentage point and 1.1 
million, respectively, over the year. Among the unemployed in 
October, 26.8 percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or longer. 

      The labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, was 
unchanged in October, after declining by 0.2 percentage point in 
September. The employment-population ratio was little changed in 
October, at 59.3 percent, and has shown little movement over the 
past year.

      The number of persons employed part time for economic 
reasons edged down to 5.8 million in October. These individuals, 
also referred to as involuntary part-time workers, would have 
preferred full-time employment but were working part time 
because their hours had been cut back or because they were 
unable to find full-time work. The number of persons working 
part time for economic reasons has declined by 1.2 million over 
the past year.

      Among people who were neither working nor looking for work 
in October, 1.9 million were classified as marginally attached 
to the labor force, down from 2.2 million a year earlier. These 
individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the 
survey but wanted a job, were available to work, and had looked 
for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, was 665,000 in October, little 
different from a year earlier.

      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 
in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged 
at 5.0 percent.

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Last Modified Date: November 06, 2015