Unemployment Rate Increases to 3.7 Percent as Nation Adds 261,000 Jobs

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release Friday, the national unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in October as total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 261,000 jobs.

BLS said the number of unemployed persons rose by 306,000 to 6.1 million in October.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.4 percent) and Whites (3.2 percent) rose in October. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.0 percent),

Blacks (5.9 percent), Asians (2.9 percent) and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losses changed little at 1.2 million in October, and the number of persons on temporary layoff also changed little at 847,000.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in October as well. The long-term unemployed accounted for 19.5 percent of all unemployed persons.

The labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.2 percent and the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 60.0 percent. Both measures are 1.2 percentage points below their values in February 2020, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed at 3.7 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at 5.7 million and remains above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the four weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.

Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force was little changed in October at 1.5 million. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the four weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, decreased by 114,000 to 371,000 in October.

BLS said health care employment increased by 53,000, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+31,000), nursing and residential care facilities (+11,000), and hospitals (+11,000). So far in 2022, health care employment has increased by an average of 47,000 per month, compared with 9,000 per month in 2021.

Professional and technical services employment rose by 43,000 jobs. That included increases in management and technical consulting services (+7,000), architectural and engineering services (+7,000) and scientific research and development services (+5,000). Monthly job growth in professional and technical services has averaged 41,000 in 2022, compared with 53,000 per month in 2021.

Manufacturing increased by 32,000 jobs, largely in durable goods industries (+23,000). Manufacturing employment has increased by an average of 37,000 per month in 2022, compared with 30,000 in 2021.

Employment in social assistance rose 19,000 in October and is slightly below the pre-pandemic level by 9,000 jobs. Much of the October increase was in individual and family services (+10,000).

Leisure and hospitality employment added 35,000 jobs, including an increase in accommodation (+20,000). Food services and drinking places changed little over the month (+6,000). Leisure and hospitality has added an average of 78,000 jobs per month thus far this year, less than half of the average gain of 196,000 jobs per month in 2021. Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.1 million, or 6.5 percent, from its February 2020 level.

Wholesale trade added 15,000 jobs in October. Employment in the industry has increased by an average of 17,000 per month in 2022, compared to 13,000 per month in 2021.

Employment in transportation and warehousing was little changed in October (+8,000). There were gains in truck transportation (+13,000), couriers and messengers (+7,000) and air transportation (+4,000), but that was partially offset by a loss in warehousing and storage (-20,000).

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including financial activities, mining, construction, retail trade, information, other services and government.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $32.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.7 percent. In October, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 9 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $27.86.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised down by 23,000, from +315,000 to +292,000, and the change for September was revised up by 52,000, from +263,000 to +315,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 29,000 higher than previously reported.

BLS said Hurricane Ian had no discernible effect on the employment and unemployment data for October.

Story originally published in The Hannah Report on November 4, 2022.  Copyright 2022 Hannah News Service, Inc.