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October Unemployment Holding at Half-Century Lows

Fri, November 01, 2019 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Today, the Labor Department reported total number of jobs increased 128,000 for the month of October. (This just about hit the generally accepted range of approximately 130-150,000 new jobs per month to absorb the expanding workforce).  Non-seasonally adjusted figures for construction showed unemployment moved up to 4.0 percent with the start of cooler weather [an increase of 0.8 basis point from September, but also up 0.4 basis points from a year ago in October 2018 when it stood at 3.6%].  During the month, the construction industry employment remained steady, while unemployment ticked-up to 398,000.

The new unemployment figure of 3.6 percent stayed at near a 50-year low.  (“Unemployed persons” went up one-tenth to 5.9 million per the government count).  The “labor force participation” rate actually improved one-tenth to 63.3 percent. [HOWEVER NOTE: The “labor force participation” rate works inversely to the overall unemployment figures. Meaning: as it deteriorates/gets worse or smaller, it actually is counted as improving unemployment (i.e., people leaving the workforce are no longer viewed/counted as unemployed by the DOL)].  The “employment to population ratio” stayed the same at 61.0 percent.  Average hourly earnings for employees improved/increased at 3.0% (over the last 12-months).

See the Workforce Statistics here.

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