The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that 214k nonfarm payrolls were added during the month of October. This follows revised payrolls gains of 256k in September and 203k in August.
The Leisure and Hospitality industry added the most jobs in October.
The Education and Health Services industry, along with the Leisure and Hospitality and Professional Services industries, have contributed the most to the job gains over the last 8 years. Although Construction and Manufacturing employment both grew in October, these sectors have had the most difficulty recovering from the economic downturn.
The household survey shows that 345k full-time jobs were added in October, while part-time employment increased by 334k. Since November 2007, when the household survey showed peak employment, full-time jobs have decreased by 2.2 million and part-time jobs have increased by 2.9 million.
Part-time employees made up 18.80% of the workforce in October, up from 18.66% in September.
Those part-time for economic reasons, workers who would prefer to be full-time but are involuntarily part-time, as a share of those part-time for noneconomic reasons decreased to 35.5% from 36.3%.
The unemployment rate (U-3) was 5.8% in October, down from 5.9% in September. The broader underemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 11.5% from 11.8%.
Youth unemployment continues to be volatile.
Unemployment for those with less than a high school diploma decreased to 7.9%.
Blacks continue to experience the highest unemployment rate at 10.9%.
The labor force participation rate was 62.8%, up from 62.7%, while the employment-to-population ratio increase to 59.2% from 59.0%.
Participation among men was unchanged at 69.1% and participation among women increased to 57.0% from 56.7%.
The participation rate for prime age workers (25-54) increased to 80.8% from 80.7%.
Since the total participation rate peaked in August 2008, participation has only risen in the 55+ age bracket.
Average weekly hours worked by production and supervisory employees increased to 33.8 from 33.7, while average hourly earnings rose to $20.70 from $20.66. This increased average weekly earnings to $699.66, up 2.7% from a year ago.
Average duration of unemployment in October was 32.7 weeks, up from 31.5 in September. This metric reached a high of 40.7 in 2011, and is still elevated by historical standards.
Of those unemployed, 47.5% have been so for 15 weeks or longer.
Increasing labor market participation and a slight tick up in wage growth were about the only positives in this month’s report. Much of the job gains were in low-paying industries, and a disproportionately greater share of jobs added were only part-time.
Worse yet, the already abysmally high average duration of unemployment rose once again, and the share of the unemployed who have been so for more than 15 weeks increased as well. This further suggests that the problem is secular as shifting labor market demand over the past 8 years has created a skills mismatch and left many Americans unemployable.