The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released the employment situation report for October, 2012. These are the last employment figures we will see before the U.S. Presidential election.
Nonfarm payrolls increased in October by 171k, 23k higher than the revised September increase of 148k. This is a pretty neutral report, without indicating economic collapse nor booming expansion anytime soon.
The unemployment rate (U-3) ticked up to 7.9%, higher than last month’s 7.8% reading. The real unemployment rate (U-6) declined though, dropping below September’s 14.2% to a still high 13.9%.
The labor force participation rate rose once again in October to 63.8%, higher than the 63.6% in September and 63.5% in August.
The employment-population ratio increased as well to 58.8%, up from 58.7% in September and 58.3% in August.
It’s a very good sign to see these two numbers rising during a time when so many Americans should be aging into retirement.
Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked declined to 33.6 from 33.7 the month prior. Average hourly earnings declined also, to $19.79 from $19.81 in September.
Unemployment rate by duration includes some negative news this month, as those who have been unemployed the longest are beginning to again have the hardest time finding work. Of the unemployed:
- Less than 5 weeks: Rose to 21.4% compared to 21.1% a month ago.
- 5 to 14 weeks: Fell to 23.1% compared to 23.4% a month ago.
- 15 to 26 weeks: Fell to 14.9% compared to 15.4% a month ago.
- 27 weeks and over: Rose to 40.6% compared to 40.1% a month ago.
The more lasting unemployment dilemma still lies in the inability of our nation’s youth to find work.
- 16 to 17: Decreased to 25.1% compared to 25.3% a month ago.
- 18 to 19: Decreased to 22.7% compared to 22.8% a month ago.
- 20 to 24: Increased to 13.2% compared to 12.4% a month ago.
- 25 to 34: Increased to 8.3% compared to 8.1% a month ago.
- 35 to 44: Remained unchanged at 6.3%.
- 45 to 54: Remained unchanged at 6.1%.
- 55+: Decreased to 5.8% from 5.9% a month ago.
The unemployment rate for men was unchanged in October at 8.0%, while the unemployment rate for women rose to 7.7% from 7.5% the month prior.
Among all veterans, the unemployment rate continues to be better than the general population coming in at 6.3% in October, lower than September’s 6.7% figure.
The men are on the much better end among veterans though. Their unemployment rate in October was unchanged at 5.9%. The wildly volatile women veterans unemployment rate was an absurdly high 13.2% in September, but improved to 9.5% in October.
So, employers out there, hire some female veterans!
3 out of the 4 races tracked by the BLS saw increasing unemployment in October:
- White: Unchanged at 7.0%.
- Black: Increased to 14.3% from 13.4% the month prior.
- Asian: Increased to 4.9% from 4.8% the month prior.
- Hispanic: Increased to 10.0% from 9.9% the month prior.
Finally, let’s take a look into the ever-telling unemployment rate by education statistics.
- Less Than a High School Diploma: Increased to 12.2% from 11.3% the month prior.
- High School Graduates: Decreased to 8.4% from 8.7% the month prior.
- Some College or Associate Degree: Increased to 6.9% from 6.5% the month prior.
- Bachelor’s Degree and Higher: Decreased to 3.8% from 4.1% the month prior.