Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-95,000) in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Government employment declined (-159,000), reflecting both a drop in the number of temporary jobs for Census 2010 and job losses in local government. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly (+64,000).
The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.6%
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8%), adult women (8.0%), teenagers (26.0%), whites (8.7%), blacks (16.1%), and Hispanics (12.4%) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.1 million, was little changed over the month but was down by 640,000 since a series high of 6.8 million in May. In September, 41.7% of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.
In September, both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.7%, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.5%, were unchanged.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose by 612,000 over the month to 9.5 million. Over the past 2 months, the number of such workers has increased by 943,000. 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 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in September, up from 2.2 million 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 1.2 million discouraged workers in September, an increase of 503,000 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 remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.