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
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics                               
                                
                           before the
                    Joint Economic Committee
                     UNITED STATES CONGRESS
                                
                    Friday, November 4, 2011


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

     Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and
unemployment data we released this morning.
     
     Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October
(+80,000), and the unemployment rate, at 9.0 percent, was little
changed.  Over the past 12 months, payroll employment has
increased by an average of 125,000 per month.
     
     In October, private-sector employment increased by 104,000,
with continued growth in professional and business services,
leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining.  Government
employment continued to trend down.
     
     Employment in professional and business services continued
to trend up in October (+32,000).  In recent months, there have
been modest job gains in temporary help services and in
management and technical consulting services.
     
     Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up
over the month (+22,000).  Since a recent low in January 2010,
the industry has added 344,000 jobs.
     
     Health care employment edged up by 12,000 in October,
following a gain of 45,000 in September.  The two-month average
increase of 29,000 was in line with the industry’s recent trend.
In October, offices of physicians gained 8,000 jobs.
     
     Mining employment continued to expand in October (+6,000).
Since October 2009, mining has added 152,000 jobs, largely due to
gains in support activities for mining.
     
     Construction employment was down by 20,000 in October,
largely offsetting a gain in the prior month.  Both over-the-
month movements largely occurred in nonresidential construction
industries.  Employment in other major private-sector industries
changed little in October.
     
     Employment in government continued to trend down (-24,000).
State government, excluding education, lost 16,000 jobs over the
month.  Employment in both state government and local government
has been falling since the second half of 2008.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 5 cents to $23.19 in October, following a gain
of 6 cents in September.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have risen by 1.8 percent.  From September 2010 to
September 2011, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U) increased by 3.9 percent.
     
      Turning now to measures from our survey of households, the
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.0 percent in
October.  The jobless rate has held in a narrow range from 9.0 to
9.2 percent since April.  In October, there were 13.9 million
unemployed persons, little changed from the prior month. The
number of persons jobless for 27 weeks and over declined by
366,000 to 5.9 million, or 42.4 percent of total unemployment.
      
      The employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, was
little changed in October.  Among the employed, those working
part time for economic reasons fell by 374,000, to 8.9 million.
      
     The labor force participation rate, at 64.2 percent, was
unchanged over the month.  Thus far in 2011, the participation
rate has held at about 64 percent.
     
     Among those outside of the labor force--persons neither
working nor looking for work--the number of discouraged workers
in October was 967,000, down from 1.2 million a year earlier.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up
in October (+80,000).  The unemployment rate was little changed
at 9.0 percent.
     
     My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your
questions.
     
     

Last Modified Date: November 04, 2011
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