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U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 10.2% in October

A newly released report from the Department of Labor puts job losses for the month of October at 558,000, bumping up the unemployment rate to 10.2%—up from 9.8% in September.

Following is a breakdown in the unemployment numbers according to category:

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 190,000 in October. In the most recent 3 months, job losses have averaged 188,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 357,000 during the prior three months. In contrast, losses averaged 645,000 per month from November 2008 to April 2009. Since December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 7.3 million.

Manufacturing continued to shed jobs, down 61,000, in October, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods production. Over the past four months, job losses in manufacturing have averaged 51,000 per month, compared with an average monthly loss of 161,000 from October 2008 through June 2009. Manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million since December 2007.

Construction employment decreased by 62,000 in October. Monthly job losses have averaged 67,000 during the most recent six months, compared with an average decline of 117,000 during the prior six months. October job losses were concentrated in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-30,000) and in heavy construction (-14,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million.

The retail trade lost 40,000 jobs in October. Employment declines were concentrated in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores, down 16,000, and in department stores, down 11,000. Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 18,000 in October.

On the plus side: health care employment continued to increase in October, up 29,000. Since the start of the recession, health care has added 597,000 jobs. Likewise, the temporary help services category has added 44,000 jobs since July, including 34,000 in October. From January 2008 through July 2009, temporary help services had lost an average of 44,000 jobs per month.

The entire unemployment report is available from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Aerospace  •  Automotive  •  Editorial  •  Industry Trends & Happenings


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