Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in September (-263,000), and the unemployment rate (9.8%) continued to trend up, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. The largest job losses were in construction, manufacturing, retail trade, and government.
Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, and the unemployment rate has doubled to 9.8%.
Unemployment rates for the major worker groups—adult men (10.3%), adult women (7.8%), teenagers (25.9%), whites (9.0%), blacks (15.4%), and Hispanics (12.7%)—showed little change in September. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.4%, not seasonally adjusted. The rates for all major worker groups are much higher than at the start of the recession.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 603,000 to 10.4 million in September. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for twenty-seven weeks and over) rose by 450,000 to 5.4 million. In September, 35.6% of unemployed persons were jobless for twenty-seven weeks or more.
The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage points in September to 65.2%. The employment-population ratio, at 58.8%, also declined over the month and has decreased by 3.9 percentage points since the recession began in December 2007.
In September, the number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 9.2 million. The number of such workers rose sharply throughout most of the fall and winter but has been little changed since March.
About 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in September, an increase of 615,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior twelve months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 706,000 discouraged workers in September, up by 239,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The other 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.