Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.                                
                             
                          Statement of
                                
                         John M. Galvin
                       Acting Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                    Friday, November 2, 2012


     Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October,
and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9
percent.  Job gains occurred in professional and business
services, health care, and retail trade over the month.  Thus far
in 2012, employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month, about
the same as the average monthly gain in 2011 (+153,000).
     
     Before discussing the details of this month’s report, I
would note that Hurricane Sandy had no discernable effect on the
employment and unemployment data for October.  Household survey
data collection was completed before the storm struck the East
Coast, and establishment survey data collection rates were within
the normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas.
     
     Returning to the estimates for October, professional and
business services employment increased by 51,000.  Within the
professional and technical services component, employment in
computer systems design continued to trend up (+7,000).  Within
the administrative and support services component, employment in
services to buildings and dwellings rose by 13,000.  Employment
in temporary help services changed little over the month and has
shown little net change over the past 3 months.
     
     Health care employment rose by 31,000 in October, with job
gains in ambulatory health care services (+25,000) and in
hospitals (+6,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has
added 296,000 jobs.
     
     Employment in retail trade was up by 36,000 in October, with
increases occurring in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000)
and in furniture and home furnishings stores (+4,000).  Over the
past 3 months, retail employment has increased by 82,000.
     
     In construction, employment in specialty trade contractors
rose by 17,000 in October.  Elsewhere in the goods-producing
sector, mining employment declined by 9,000, and manufacturing
employment was little changed.  On net, manufacturing employment
has shown little change since April.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls edged down by 1 cent in October to $23.58.  Over the
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.6
percent.  From September 2011 to September 2012, the Consumer
Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.0
percent.
     
     Turning to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent in
October, following a decline in the prior month.  There were 12.3
million unemployed persons in October, little different from the
prior month.
     
     The number of involuntary part-time workers declined by
269,000 to 8.3 million in October; this follows an increase of
582,000 in September.  On net, involuntary part-time employment
has changed little over the past 3 months.
     
     The labor force increased by 578,000, and the labor force
participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent in October.  Total
employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by
410,000, while the employment-population ratio was little changed
at 58.8 percent.
     
      I would note that the household survey and establishment
survey employment measures often show different month-to-month
changes.  The establishment survey employment series has a
smaller margin of error than the household survey because of its
much larger sample size.  An over-the-month employment change of
about 100,000 is statistically significant in the establishment
survey, while the threshold for a statistically significant
change in the household survey is about 400,000.  However, the
household survey has a more expansive scope than the
establishment survey because it includes the self-employed,
agricultural workers, and other workers who are excluded by the
establishment survey. Over longer periods of time, the employment
measures from the two surveys tend to track more closely.  Each
month, BLS provides a report intended to help data users better
understand the differences in the surveys’ employment measures
and trends on our website at 
www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ces_cps_trends.pdf.
      
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 171,000 in
October, and the unemployment rate, at 7.9 percent, was
essentially unchanged.
     
     

Last Modified Date: November 02, 2012
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