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 Standard Time.

                                
                          Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                    Friday, November 7, 2008


     Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October, and
the unemployment rate rose from 6.1 to 6.5 percent.  Job losses
over the last 3 months totaled 651,000, after accounting for
downward revisions to employment estimates for August and
September.  So far this year, payroll employment has decreased by
1.2 million.

     In October, manufacturing employment continued to fall
(-90,000), with declines occurring throughout the sector.  A
large drop in transportation equipment employment (-40,000)
reflected continued weakness in motor vehicles and parts as well
as a strike involving 27,000 workers in the aerospace industry.
Other sizable job losses occurred in fabricated metal products 
(-11,000), furniture (-10,000), wood products (-7,000), and
plastics and rubber products (-6,000).  Manufacturing hours and
overtime were unchanged at 40.6 and 3.6 hours, respectively.
     
     Construction employment declined by 49,000 over the month.
Since its peak in September 2006, employment in this industry has
fallen by 663,000.  Most of the declines over this period
occurred in residential specialty trades (-349,000) and in
residential building (-199,000).
     
     Retail trade employment fell by 38,000 in October, with the
largest losses occurring among automobile dealers (-20,000) and
department stores (-18,000).  Wholesale trade employment fell by
22,000 over the month, with most of the loss occurring in durable
goods distribution.
     
     Employment in financial activities declined by 24,000 in
October; credit intermediation, which includes banking, accounted
for about half of the loss.  The securities industry shed 6,000
jobs in October, following a loss of 9,000 in September.  The
employment services industry, which includes temporary help
agencies, continued to contract in October  (-51,000) and has 
lost about half a million jobs since the most recent peak in 
August 2006.
     
     Health care employment rose by 26,000 in October and by
348,000 over the past 12 months.  Mining added 7,000 jobs over
the month.  Since a low in April 2003, mining employment has
increased by 246,000 (nearly 50 percent).
     
     Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory
workers in the private sector increased by 4 cents, or 0.2
percent, in October.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have increased by 3.5 percent.  From September 2007 to
September 2008, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners
and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose by 5.4 percent.

     Turning to labor market measures from the survey of
households, the unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to
6.5 percent in October.  The rate was 4.8 percent a year earlier.

     About 10.1 million persons were unemployed in October, an
increase of 603,000 over the month and 2.8 million over the past
12 months.  About 2.3 million individuals had been unemployed for
27 weeks or more, an increase of 249,000 over the month and
942,000 over the past 12 months.

     Both the labor force participation rate, at 66.1 percent,
and the employment-population ratio, at 61.8 percent, were little
changed over the month.  The employment-population ratio has
declined by 0.9 percentage point over the year and by 1.6
percentage points from its recent peak in December 2006.

     The number of persons working part time who would have
preferred full-time employment increased by 645,000 in October to
6.7 million.  Over the last 12 months, the number of such workers
has grown by 2.3 million.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 240,000
in October, and the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent.






Last Modified Date: November 07, 2008
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