Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 166,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality. Manufacturing employment continued to decline, and construction employment was little changed.

Unemployment (Household Survey Data)

The number of unemployed persons, at 7.2 million, was essentially unchanged in October, and the unemployment rate held at 4.7 percent. A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 6.7 million, and the jobless rate was 4.4 percent.

In October, unemployment rates for the major worker groups--adult men (4.3 percent), adult women (4.1 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), whites (4.2 percent), blacks (8.5 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent)--showed little or no change. The unemployment rate for Asians was 3.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

Total Employment and the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

Total employment, at 146.0 million, was about unchanged in October. The employment-population ratio--62.7 percent--was little changed in October but was down from its recent peak of 63.4 percent in December. The civilian labor force, at 153.3 million in October, and the labor force participation rate, at 65.9 percent, were essentially unchanged from September.

Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)

Nearly 1.4 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in October, about unchanged from a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available to work and had looked for a job sometime during the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 320,000 discouraged workers in October, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them.

The other 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance and family responsibilities.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 166,000 in October to 138.4 million, following increases of 93,000 in August and 96,000 in September. In October, job growth continued in several service-providing industries, while employment in manufacturing continued to trend downward. Construction employment was little changed over the month.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 65,000 in October and has risen by 368,000 over the year. In October, job gains continued in architectural and engineering services (7,000) and in management and technical consulting services (8,000). The number of jobs in the employment services industry rose over the month (34,000), following a large decline in September. Thus far in 2007, the industry has lost 156,000 jobs.

Health care employment continued to grow in October (34,000) with job gains in ambulatory health care services and hospitals. Over the year, health care has added 400,000 jobs.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in October (37,000). This industry has added 365,000 jobs over the year.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend down over the month (-21,000) with declines in motor vehicles and parts (6,000), computer and electronic products (-4,000), and chemicals (-4,000). Manufacturing has lost 275,000
jobs since June 2006.

Overall, employment in construction was little changed in October. A job gain in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (16,000) was offset by job losses in residential building (-9,000) and in residential specialty trade contractors (-13,000). Since its peak in September 2006, construction employment has declined by 124,000.

Retail trade employment edged down in October. Among the component industries, employment in building material and garden supply stores continued to trend down with a loss of 7,000 over the month. Employment in financial activities was essentially unchanged in October, although the number of jobs in its credit intermediation component (which includes mortgage lending and related activities) continued to trend down.

Weekly Hours (Establishment Survey Data)

In October, the average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours, seasonally adjusted.

The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 41.2 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 4.1 hours over the month.

The index of aggregate weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 percent in October to 107.9 (2002=100).

The manufacturing index decreased by 0.4 percent to 95.0.

Hourly and Weekly Earnings (Establishment Survey Data)

Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, in October to $17.58, seasonally adjusted. Average weekly earnings also grew by 0.2 percent over the month, to $594.20. Over the year, average hourly earnings rose by 3.8 percent, and average weekly earnings rose by 3.5 percent.

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166,000 New Jobs Created
in October, 2007
Unemployment rate unchanged at 4.7%