The October jobs report last Friday showed a slight improvement in unemployment, with a jobless rate of 9 percent, versus three consecutive months stalling at 9.1 percent. The Labor Department reported 80,000 nonfarm jobs added last month. While below expectations of 95,000, August jobs estimates were adjusted to 102,000, more than previously reported.Currently, 13.9 million Americans are unemployed, and 42% of these have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. Economists note that at anywhere from 125,000 – 150,000 jobs need to be added each month to match up with new entrants into the workforce. Baring this, this month’s jobs report did show some slight improvement.
While cuts in government jobs continue, 24,000 last month – many at the state and local level, private employers added 104,000 jobs in October; although not enough to improve the unemployment rate significantly. Job gains were added across all fields in the private sector, minus construction, with gains in manufacturing (5,000 jobs), professional and business services and temporary employment (15,000 jobs) and hiring in the healthcare and social sectors (16,300 jobs). The construction industry fell by 10,000 jobs, after adding 27,000 jobs in September. Any good news for the economy? Slight improvement is better than none, and while the economy struggles to add jobs, this could mean interest rates remaining low for Americans.