November 05, 2001
The unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage point to 5.4 percent in October, the highest level since December 1996.
Since October 2000, when the unemployment rate reached its most recent low, the rate has increased by 1.5 percentage points. During that same period, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 2.2 million to 7.7 million.
The labor market data for the month of October are the first to reflect broadly the impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11. The labor market had been weakening before the attacks, and those events clearly exacerbated this weakness. It is not possible, however, to quantify the job-market effects of the terrorist attacks.
These data are a product of the Current Employment Statistics and Current Population Survey. The above figures are all seasonally adjusted. Find out more in "The Employment Situation: October 2001," news release USDL 01-397.