Unemployment stays at 9.6%

posted at 8:43 am on November 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Although the jobless rate remained the same in October 2010 at 9.6% as the previous month, the private sector added 159,000 jobs in the best month for the US since March.  Other indicators in the Labor report were not as encouraging, however:

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8 million, was little changed in October. The unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent and has been essentially unchanged since May. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (27.1 percent), whites (8.8 percent), blacks (15.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.6 percent) showed little change in October. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was about unchanged over the month at 6.2 million. In October, 41.8 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-12.)

Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.5 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, edged down over the
month. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 318,000
over the month to 9.2 million, partially offsetting large increases in the prior 2 months. These individuals were working part time because
their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, up from 2.4 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. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in October, an increase of 411,000 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 1.4 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. (See table A-16.)

The concern remains for the participation rate and employment-population ratio, still near lows. The US adds around 100,000 working-age adults to the population each month.  In order to just keep pace, the economy has to add 100,000 jobs a month.  This is only the second time this year where job growth exceeded population growth, and only by 59,000.  At that pace, it will take over four years to make up the jobs lost since Obama became President.

Still, this is a step in the right direction, if the success can be repeated and expanded.

Update: I think we can forgive Reuters for its surprise this time:

U.S. employment increased more than expected last month as private companies hired workers at the fastest pace since April, offering more signs of an up-tick in a sluggish economy.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 151,000 in October, the first increase since May, as a 159,000 jump in private employment more than offset a 8,000 drop in government payrolls, the Labor Department said on Friday. In addition, the government revised payrolls for August and September to show 110,000 fewer jobs lost.

Economists had expected payrolls to increase 60,000 last month, with private employment rising 75,000.

Also worth noting: Reuters puts the floor for growth at +125,000, not +100,000.  With that calculation, it would take almost 8 years to make up the jobs lost at a net 34K growth per month.


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At that pace, it will take over four years to make up the jobs lost since Obama became President.

is that when he’s coming back from India?

just askin’../

ted c on November 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Obama IS creating jobs.

Republican politician jobs.

Kudos to you, Mr. president.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM

There’s always hope for the holidays, then it gets sold off after Christmas.

tarpon on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM

160,000 – 125,000 = 35,000 Net 10 million job losses. Awesome 285 months until everyone is back to work!

Caper29 on November 5, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Still, this is a step in the right direction, if the success can be repeated and expanded.

A step in the right direction? Any economic “good” news helps Obama get reelected. How is that a step in the right direction as far as we’re concerned? If there was a net creation of jobs, it was despite Obama, not because of him. How many jobs would have been saved or created without Obama?

keep the change on November 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM

There’s always hope for the holidays, then it gets sold off after Christmas.

tarpon on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Those are unfortunately temp jobs. And a lot of them part-time. It’s like the census gigs. They’ll pad the numbers for a couple months, but we’ll be right back where we started come January.

Doughboy on November 5, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Seasonal hiring, wait until February when the seasonal hires and AFSCME crowd hit the bricks!

tim c on November 5, 2010 at 8:50 AM

tarpon on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM

All I wanted for Christmas was Pelosi’s head on a platter.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM

There you go Obama. The unemployment still remains high, the feds are printing more money, consumer confidence is low, you lost the House…time for a vacation.

Electrongod on November 5, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Yip, yip, yip, yahoo! </sarcasm>

Forgive my pessimism, but other than last year, the private-sector job situation is still worse than every year since 1998.

steveegg on November 5, 2010 at 8:55 AM

blacks (15.7 percent)

Obviously the President doesn’t care about blacks, therefore He’s a racist!

The House controls the purse strings, so come January simply do not fund lots of government programs, or fund at lower levels, and do not allow money to be used for new government regulations.

rbj on November 5, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Moribund.

Things might improve a little now that the progressives aren’t going to be able to ram anything through. No card check, no cap and tax, and continuation of all tax cuts should help a little going forward.

forest on November 5, 2010 at 8:56 AM

BLS & ADP numbers are at odds. I’m not a numbers guy so maybe I’m missing something here:

Published on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 8:15 A.M. ET

October 2010 National Employment Report

Private-sector employment increased by 43,000 from September to October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report® released today. The estimated change of employment from August to September was revised up from the previously
reported decline of 39,000 to a smaller decline of 2,000.
Since employment began rising in February, the monthly gain has averaged 34,000 with a range of -2,000 to +65,000 during the period. October’s figure is within this recent range and is consistent with the deceleration of economic growth that occurred in the spring.

Employment gains of this magnitude are not sufficient to lower the unemployment rate. Given modest GDP growth in the second and thirds quarters, and the usual lag of employment behind GDP, it would not be surprising to see several more months of lethargic employment gains, even if the economic recovery gathers momentum.

According to the ADP Report, employment in the service-providing sector rose by 77,000 in October, the ninth consecutive monthly gain. This increase was enough to offset an employment decline in the goods-producing sector of 34,000. Manufacturing employment declined 12,000
during October, the second consecutive monthly decline.

Akzed on November 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM

A step in the right direction? Any economic “good” news helps Obama get reelected. How is that a step in the right direction as far as we’re concerned? If there was a net creation of jobs, it was despite Obama, not because of him. How many jobs would have been saved or created without Obama?

keep the change on November 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Of course it’s a step in the right direction! Are you mad? Does it matter more who is in the WH than whether Americans are suffering from lack of work? Yes, yes, we all know that PBHO is giving us the worst policy imaginable, but the bottom line is that the end goal is not getting the right people or even policies in place, it is getting the right results. And the right results are that we regain our security and our prosperity.

MJBrutus on November 5, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Of course it’s a step in the right direction! Are you mad? Does it matter more who is in the WH than whether Americans are suffering from lack of work? Yes, yes, we all know that PBHO is giving us the worst policy imaginable, but the bottom line is that the end goal is not getting the right people or even policies in place, it is getting the right results. And the right results are that we regain our security and our prosperity.

MJBrutus on November 5, 2010 at 8:59 AM

It’s a small step in the right direction. But unless there’s a significant change in economic policy coming from the White House, it’s gonna take a lot of these small steps to get us back to a reasonable unemployment rate.

Doughboy on November 5, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Obama, the Successful-Failure President. This country will succeed when Obama fails.

Electrongod on November 5, 2010 at 9:03 AM

It’s not just the White House.

SlimyBill on November 5, 2010 at 9:04 AM

AP – President Barack Obama is acknowledging in the wake of this week’s election rout that he hasn’t been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans.

President Giggles is still stuck on stupid.

DeweyWins on November 5, 2010 at 9:07 AM

You forgot one small detail Ed – the employment numbers will be revised downwards in a few weeks. It has happened pretty much every month for over a year.

Squiggy on November 5, 2010 at 9:10 AM

There you go Obama. The unemployment still remains high, the feds are printing more money, consumer confidence is low, you lost the House…time for a vacation.

Electrongod on November 5, 2010 at 8:53 AM

It’s almost like you are not appreciating the outcomes of his policies…

myrenovations on November 5, 2010 at 9:16 AM

His vacation should have started on January 20, 2009. The country would be a whole lot better off.

We need to give him a permanent one, starting January 20, 2013.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Maybe someone can expain to me how it is that 400,000 people were laid off last month,but 150,000 jobs offset that figure in the unemployment rate.Serious question,not snark.
Also,were those jobs actually created,or were they jobs that just got filled(that had already existed)?

DDT on November 5, 2010 at 9:18 AM

As Sarah would say, “This is flippin’ fun!”

Mr_Magoo on November 5, 2010 at 9:21 AM

the private sector added 159,000 jobs

…which almost exactly balances out the number of government jobs lost by Democrats last Tuesday.

CyberCipher on November 5, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Civilian Labor Force

Sept 154,158
Oct 153,904

Employed

Sept 139,391
Oct 139,061

We have 330,000 less working this month than last month, yet Pres Zero said we add 150,000 jobs.

Monkey business going on, again.

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 9:37 AM

This is only the second time this year where job growth exceeded population growth, and only by 59,000.

Well, maybe the Administration will just have to do something about that “population growth” thing then!

/sarc

Logic on November 5, 2010 at 9:39 AM

It isn’t unexpected that the Gray Lady would put the best possible light on it with this sub-headline:

The report was better than expected, but the 151,000 jobs created in October were not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which held at 9.6%.

In fairness, the writers do state:

In addition to the weak demand companies are generally facing, this resulting uncertainty about the fate of measures like the Bush tax cuts set to expire in 2011 has left many businesses hesitant to take the plunge and hire more workers.

Gee, no kidding.

Drained Brain on November 5, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Someone nudge the red-headed chick.
I think she’s dead.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on November 5, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Don’t get too happy. Look at this. The AP reports:

“The job gains were concentrated in relatively few sectors: retailers added 27,900 positions, likely in preparation for the holiday season. Temporary agencies added 34,900. Restaurants and bars hired 24,400 people.”

Now what can one derive from that? Three fourths of those folks will be unemployed again in a couple months. The first two groups are not permanent hires.

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 9:48 AM

One other note. Those 27,900 retail jobs are most likely part time, minimum wage work, but it allows the DoL to remove them from the unemployed tally.

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Scooter just spoke about the economy. Informed all of us that everything was just great. Incredible job growth for this year. Also said, in so many words, that he had promoted himself to Director of Sales/Marketing for every U.S. company doing work overseas, and that during his “I’m Getting the Hell Out of Town” tour to Asia he would drum up business and save us all from destitude and bread lines. So now he’s covered his butt on that wasteful extravaganza at taxpayer expense.

What a lying putz.

Still Narcissist in Chief, still in denial, still saying we are just to dumb to inderstand his superior intellect.

fogw on November 5, 2010 at 9:54 AM

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Weren’t a lot of those jobs in the health care sector too?

fogw on November 5, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Jan 2001 137778
Jan 2009 142221(1)
Oct 2010 139061

4.5m jobs for Bush. It peaked at 8.6m in Apr 2008.

-3.2m jobs for Zero. Heck, we are down 400,000 since May.

In 21 month, Zero and his minions say we have less in the work force, just 2.4m less. So, in reality we lost 5.6m jobs under Zeros watch.

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM

fogw on November 5, 2010 at 9:54 AM

If Democrats were a corporation, how would they handle customer complaints?

Customer: “Excuse me. I would like to return this Stimulus Gizmo I bought for $800 billion. It doesn’t seem to function as advertised. In fact, it seems to have made things worse.”

Democrat Customer Service: “You are too stupid and racist to understand how incredible this product is. Why, all the experts endorse it. And no, you can’t return it. Toodles!”

What a riot. To think of a Democrat in private business that is. They wouldn’t last a day.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 10:04 AM

I want 12% unemployment on Nov 1st, 2012.

angryed on November 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Heh.

When I think of business, and Obama, I think of Sanford and Son.

fogw on November 5, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Sounds like a Facebook page

✔ WoosterOh likes I want 12% unemployment on Nov 1st, 2012 on HotAir.com

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 10:11 AM

fogw on November 5, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Both peddle junk but that’s where the resemblance ends.

Red Foxx was entertaining.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Sounds like a Facebook page

✔ WoosterOh likes I want 12% unemployment on Nov 1st, 2012 on HotAir.com

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Heh.

angryed on November 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM

I think I see Grayson in the picture out front.

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Need to start using Grayson’s photo when HA does Unemployment news.

WoosterOh on November 5, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Last night’s national MSM talking point from radio evening news segments,

“The economy is improving because Americans have learned to accept gasoline prices well over $3.00/gallon with 10% unemployment.”

Accepting Depression improves the economy, ya know. Embrace it, dhimmi. That’s “get in their faces” news as advised from this administration that only began with “take that, back of the bus [under the bus] enemy”.

maverick muse on November 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM

fogw, the BLS report says: “Health care continued to add jobs in October (+24,000). The gain was
in line with the average increase over the prior 12 months (+20,000).”

That’s something at least.

But here is the bad news:”The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (some-
times referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell by 318,000
over the month to 9.2 million, partially offsetting large increases in
the prior 2 months. These individuals were working part time because
their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force
in October, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. (The data are not sea-
sonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, want-
ed 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.
(See table A-15.)”

That 9.2 million and the 2.6 million are not being included in the U6 number. These are folks that desire full time permanent employment but are living on what they can get.

When you add these numbers to the “official” unemployed folks (14.8 million) you start to get the whole picture.

The U6 dropped since more folks exhausted their benefits.
The 2.6 million number above is also incomplete.

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 11:08 AM

If Democrats were a corporation, how would they handle customer complaints?

What a riot. To think of a Democrat in private business that is. They wouldn’t last a day.

NoDonkey on November 5, 2010 at 10:04 AM

You’ve illustrated a distinction between private business, aka free enterprise, and authoritarian corporatism, aka Democratic Marxism.

maverick muse on November 5, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Awesome 285 months until everyone is back to work!

Caper29 on November 5, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Uh oh, Krugman said almost the exact same thing today:

At this rate we’ll return to full employment around 2030 or so.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/age-of-diminished-expectations-2/

Are you Paul Krugman?

strictnein on November 5, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I find it strange that people are all excited about this October growth which can be summed up in TWO WORDS:

CHRISTMAS HELP

originalpechanga on November 5, 2010 at 11:32 AM

In related job news, Biogen and Charles River labs announced layoffs in Massachusetts, the day after the election. Nice timing, eh?

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Don’t get too happy. Look at this. The AP reports:

“The job gains were concentrated in relatively few sectors: retailers added 27,900 positions, likely in preparation for the holiday season. Temporary agencies added 34,900. Restaurants and bars hired 24,400 people.”

Now what can one derive from that? Three fourths of those folks will be unemployed again in a couple months. The first two groups are not permanent hires.

dogsoldier on November 5, 2010 at 9:48 AM

if the seasonal jobs for this Christmas are lower that previous years it could foretell how bad the recession will be, or if the seasonal help is let go earlier than normal. from what I understand for some businesses the Christmas season is the make or break for the year, if the customers are not there the unemployment could really jump.

RonK on November 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM