The unemployment rate rose from 9.8% to 10.2% in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. The largest job losses over the month were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.
In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 10.2%, the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.7%) and whites (9.5%) rose in October. The jobless rates for adult women (8.1%), teenagers (27.6%), blacks (15.7%), and Hispanics (13.1%) were little changed over the month. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.5%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed over the month at 5.6 million. In October, 35.6% of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.
The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed over the month at 65.1%. The employment-population ratio continued to decline in October, falling to 58.5%.
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in October at 9.3 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, reflecting an increase of 736,000 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 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 808,000 discouraged workers in October, up from 484,000 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.