U.S. Unemployment Rate was little changed at 3.6% in October

November 1, 2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 128,000 in October as the unemployment rate was little changed to 3.6% based on information collected by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth occurred in food services and drinking places, social assistance, and financial activities.

Household Survey Data

Unemployment rate stood at 3.6% in October. Notably, there were 5.9 million recorded for the number of unemployed persons.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.2 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.4 percent), Asians (2.9 percent), and Hispanics (4.1 percent) showed little or no change in October.

In October, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed at 4.4 million. The number of the persons who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more was slightly changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.

Establishment Survey Data 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 128,000 in October while average employment growth averaged 167,000 per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. In relation to job being gained in October 2019, notable increases were observed in food services and drinking places with an increase in 48,000 jobs, social assistance  which added 20,000 jobs and in  financial activities with an increase of 16,000 jobs. Furthermore, BLS stated, “employment declined in motor vehicles and parts manufacturing due to strike activity. Federal government employment also was down, reflecting a drop in the number of temporary jobs for the 2020 Census.”

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