Unemployment Rate: Lowest Level in Six Months

Filed in Jobs, Secretary Solis, Unemployment by on November 4, 2011 11 Comments

Our nation’s labor market posted stable growth in the month of October. We added 104,000 private sector jobs last month, as well as 102,000 more jobs than had previously been reported in August and September. And the unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent, its lowest level in six months.

Monthy Change in Total Private Employment (January 2008-October 2011). Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Progrqam

We’ve now created 2.8 million jobs over 20 consecutive months of private sector growth, including more than 1 million jobs this year alone. GDP growth in the third quarter was 2.5 percent — the fastest rate in over a year and nearly twice that of the previous quarter. Additionally, businesses reported significantly fewer layoffs in October. We also know that consumer and business spending are both up, reflecting Americans’ increased confidence in our recovery progress.

Employment in Major Industries (Over-the-year change, October 2010 - October 2011). Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Program

And I’m happy to report that the number of long-term unemployed — defined as Americans out of work for 27 weeks or more — fell by 366,000 in October, the biggest drop since 1948. Additionally, the jobless rate for African-Americans dropped a percentage point to 15.1 percent, its lowest level since August 2009.

Unfortunately, we continue to see job losses in government and construction, both areas where passage of the American Jobs Act would have a direct and immediate effect on job creation. Overall, non-farm payroll added 80,000 jobs in October, reflecting the loss of 24,000 government jobs and 20,000 jobs in construction. Last week, the Senate voted down provisions of the American Jobs Act that would have helped keep teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job. This week, the Senate voted down a common-sense infrastructure bill that would have put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. We cannot allow political partisanship to hamper the vital functions of our communities.

The policies this administration has pursued have added jobs back into the economy, but the pace of our recovery continues to be influenced by the failure of Congress to pass legislation to put Americans back to work. However, even in the absence of action by Congress, job growth since April has averaged 90,000 jobs, compared to the 11,000 monthly average during the Bush administration.

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Comments (11)

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  1. What is considered an acceptable pace?
    Where is the move from using this to implement actual shifts in policy?

  2. Whenever i see the post like yours i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for others. thanks and good job.

  3. rmc46123 says:

    These numbers are incredibly interesting because, as pointed out, the public sector leads in the overall amount of job losses. It’s a fascinating predicament because an argument could be made that a reduction in government services will lead to poorer performances and an inability for the government to serve their citizens. Ultimately, this problem could reinforce the common-held notion that the government is not capable of serving their citizens. Another observation is while service jobs are by far and away the number one category for jobs, manufacturing jobs had a surprising growth, seeming to challenge the notion that this industry is dead in the country. If construction jobs pick up, which hypothetically they will if the country recovers or their is an increase in infrastructure funding, the manual labor sector will be even stronger.

    Not to be overly political, but it is somewhat interesting that the very politicians that hammer the President on the unemployment rate would would philosophically be inclined to support a reduction in the number of government employees and a reduction in the size of government.

  4. Micheal Ace says:

    That’s a very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lisa Johnson says:

    I guess by now I can believe in putting forth out a little encouragement?

  6. Lisa Johnson says:

    These goals could belong just for you?

  7. Joseph says:

    This is encouraging and hopefully will be sustained.

  8. This really is not good news at all. The US needs to really buck up its ideas and focus on its supply side policies more. The US needs to drastically increase its levels of employment, which would then in turn lead to an appreciation of the US dollar, which would then in turn have a positive impact on the US economy (for e.g. dangerous commodity prices would be somewhat prevented, and these can negatively impact the US economy).

  9. Aeron says:

    Pretty cool that things are recovering. The chair business is still rough.

  10. Excellent and informative tips.I like your post and it really gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on web.

  11. goerge says:

    Employers pulled back on hiring this spring after seeing less demand from consumers. Higher food and gas prices forced consumers to rein in spending. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity.
    Job growth is critical to a recovery in the housing market, which many economists say is years away

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