U.S. Economy Continues to Add Jobs at a Consistent Pace
By Lee Hecht Harrison on November 2, 2012
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 171,000 jobs were added in October. Total employment also rose by 410,000 over the month. The U.S. economy has seen 25 straight months of consecutive job growth. In 2012, growth has averaged 157,000 jobs per month.
Unemployment remained relatively unchanged at 7.9 percent, up slightly from 7.8 percent in September. In October, there was little change in the number of long-term unemployed (those out of work for 27 weeks or more), which stands at 5 million and accounts for 40.6 percent of the unemployed. An addition, 2.4 million workers were reported as marginally attached to the workforce but not counted in the unemployment numbers because they hadn’t looked for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
Hiring rose in professional and business services, health care and retail:
- Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, with gains in services to buildings and dwellings (+13,000) and in computer systems design (+7,000). Employment in this sector has grown by 1.6 million since September 2009.
- Health care added 31,000 jobs in October. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+25,000) and hospitals (+6,000). Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 296,000.
- Retail trade added 36,000 jobs in October, with gains in motor vehicles and parts dealers (+7,000), and in furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000).
Employment numbers were revised up for the previous two months. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +142,000 to +192,000, and the change for September was revised from +114,000 to +148,000.
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