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News : US Economy Last Updated: Oct 11, 2010 - 4:23:12 AM

US lost 95,000 in September; +64,000 in private sector; -159,00 in public sector; Broad unemployment rate jumps to 17.1%
By Finfacts Team
Oct 8, 2010 - 2:45:37 PM

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The US lost 95,000 in September, private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up modestly at 64,000 while the public sector shed 159,000 including 77,00 temporary census workers. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6%, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported today. The broad measure of unemployment rose to 17.1%.

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.8m, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.6%.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.8%), adult women (8.0%), teenagers (26.0%), whites (8.7%), blacks (16.1%), and Hispanics (12.4%) showed little or no change in September. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4%, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.1m, was little changed over the month but was down by 640,000 since a series high of 6.8m in May. In September, 41.7% of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

In September, both the civilian labour force participation rate, at 64.7%, and the employment population ratio, at 58.5%, were unchanged.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose by 612,000 over the month to 9.5m. Over the past 2 months, the number of such workers has increased by 943,000. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.5m persons were marginally attached to the labour force in September, up from 2.2m a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labour force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in 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 1.2m discouraged workers in September, an increase of 503,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3m persons marginally attached to the labour force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down by 95,000 in September. Government employment fell by 159,000, reflecting both the departure of 77,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls and a decline of 76,000 in local government employment. Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up (+64,000) over the month.

Health care employment rose by 24,000 in September. The increase was concentrated in ambulatory health care services (+17,000). Health care employment has risen by an average of 21,000 per month this year.

Within professional and business services, employment services added 28,000 jobs in September. Temporary help services accounted for most of the gain.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places increased by 34,000 over the month and has risen by 104,000 thus far in 2010.

A reaction on the September employment data, with Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics; Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial; James Bullard, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank CEO/president; Laurence Meyer Macroeconomic Advisers; John Taylor, former Treasury economic policy advisor:

Mining employment continued to trend up (+6,000) over the month. Mining has added 77,000 jobs since a recent low in October 2009.

Employment in manufacturing changed little in September and, on net, has been essentially flat since May. The industry added 134,000 jobs during the first 5 months of the year.

Employment in wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities showed little change in September.

Employment in construction edged down (-21,000) over the month, partly offsetting an employment gain in August. Both the August and September changes were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors. Construction employment has shown little net change since February.

Government employment fell by 159,000 in September. A decline in federal government employment was due to the loss of 77,000 temporary Census 2010 jobs. As of September, about 6,000 temporary decennial census workers remained on the federal government payroll, down from a peak of 564,000 in May. Employment in local government decreased by 76,000 in September with job losses in both education and noneducation.

An outlook on job drivers through business investments, with Frederick Smith, FedEx chairman/CEO:

In September, the average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.1 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.5 hours.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 1 cent to $22.67 in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.7%. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 1 cent to $19.10.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from -54,000 to -66,000, and the change for August was revised from -54,000 to -57,000.

Professor Peter Morici said earlier this week that "more than 300,000 jobs are needed each month to pull down unemployment to prerecession levels, and pay the taxes needed to finance the President’s ambitious social agenda and industrial policies.
 More troubling is core private sector jobs growth—private sector jobs creation less government subsidized health care and social services, and temporary services. That is likely to come in at about 35,000 for September.
 Core private sector jobs growth tracks tax-paying jobs and is lower than a snake’s belly, as the threat of higher taxes, regulation and health care costs have just about exterminated entrepreneurial instincts and the appetite for risk among businesses of any size.
 After more than $800 billion in stimulus spending, sweeping health care and bank reforms and reorganization, massive government buyouts at General Motors and Chrysler, this paltry jobs performance is a sweeping indictment against the tax, spend and regulate policies of Barack Obama, but he gets a pass by dint of Republican incompetence."

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