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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- OCTOBER 2018
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate
was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job
gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation
| Hurricane Michael |
| Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018, |
| during the reference periods for both the establishment and household surveys. |
| Hurricane Michael had no discernible effect on the national employment and |
| unemployment estimates for October, and response rates for the two surveys were |
| within normal ranges. For information on how severe weather can affect employment|
| and hours data, see Question 8 in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this |
| news release. |
| BLS will release the state estimates of employment and unemployment on |
| November 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). |
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed
persons was little changed at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and
the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000,
respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks
(6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 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 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in
October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio
edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4
percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
(See table A-8.)
In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
changed from a year earlier. (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 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about
unchanged from a year earlier. (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 984,000 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 250,000 in October, following an average
monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in
health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.
(See table B-1.)
Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth
occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities
(+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up
(+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.
In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase
occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment
(+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable
Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain
occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year,
construction has added 330,000 jobs.
Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Within the industry,
employment growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing
and storage (+8,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing
has increased by 184,000.
Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was
unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The
average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly
gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.
In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up
(+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.
Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry
has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for
Employment in other major industries--including wholesale trade, retail trade,
information, financial activities, and government--showed little change over the
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1
hour to 34.5 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour
to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at 33.7 hours,
was unchanged over the month. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
83 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 in October. (See tables B-3
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down from
+134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised up from +270,000 to
+286,000. The downward revision in September offset the upward revision in August.
(Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and
government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation
of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the
past 3 months.
The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on Friday,
December 7, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).