Unemployment Ticks up to 7.9 Percent

by Patrick Brennan

 . . . while the U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report. That growth came exclusively in the private sector — the public sector actually shed jobs in October — but it wasn’t accompanied by encouraging earnings data, like last month’s report was. Average hourly earnings remained flat, as did average length of workweek. The labor-force-participation rate also ticked up, from 63.4 percent to 63.8 percent.

August and September’s jobs reports were also revised (from 142,000 to 192,000, and from 114,000 to 148,000, respectively), though the correction for last was nowhere near substantial enough to solve September’s great household–establishment disparity. (And on that note, there continued to be such a split, though not nearly as big a one, this month — the household survey, used to calculate the unemployment rate, showed 410,000 jobs added, by comparison to 171,000 from the establishment survey.)

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