Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.1% to 6.5%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported recently. October’s drop in payroll employment followed declines of 127,000 in August and 284,000 in September, as revised. Employment has fallen by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008; over half of the decrease has occurred in the past 3 months. In October, job losses continued in manufacturing, construction, and several service-providing industries. Health care and mining continued to add jobs.
The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 6.5 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons increased by 603,000 to 10.1 million. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.8 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.7 percentage points.
The unemployment rates for adult men (6.3%), adult women (5.3%), whites (5.9%), and Hispanics (8.8%) rose in October. The jobless rates for teenagers (20.6%) and blacks (11.1%) were little changed. The unemployment rate for Asians in October was 3.8%, not seasonally adjusted.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons who lost their job and did not expect to be recalled to work rose by 615,000 to 4.4 million in October. Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 1.7 million.
In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 249,000 to 2.3 million. The long-term unemployed accounted for 22.3% of total unemployment. The newly unemployed—those who were jobless fewer than 5 weeks—increased by 212,000 to 3.1 million in October.