October jobs data: Unemployment rate edges up to 7.9 percent
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October jobs data: Unemployment rate edges up to 7.9 percent

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 02, 2012 at 6:51 AM PDT
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The US unemployment rate has reached 10%

The Labor Department's Employment situation report found that the economy created 171,000 jobs in October and that the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged, although it edged up to 7.9 percent.

The department report states that Hurricane Sandy had no discernible effect on the employment and unemployment data for October, since data collection was completed before the storm.

The survey found that both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) was virtually unchanged.

While the unemployment rate for blacks increased to 14.3 percent, the remainder of the groups, whites, women, teenagers, Asians and Hispanics showed little change.

The labor force rose by 578,000 to 156.5 million for a labor participation rate of 63.8 percent. Persons on part-time work for involuntary economic reasons fell 269,000 to 8.3 million.

With an average of 151,000 jobs created each month, 171,000 is above average. October employment rose in business and professional services, 51,000, health care, 31,000, retail, 36,000, leisure and hospitality, 28,000, and construction added 17,000 jobs.

There was little change in manufacturing and mining lost 9,000 jobs. According to the Labor Department's report, there was little change in wholesale, transportation, warehousing, financial, information and government jobs.

The workweek edged down by 0.1 hours as did the hourly earnings to an average of $23.58. The overall hourly rate has increased by 1.6 percent over the year.

Opinion:

With increased prices at the pumps, for groceries and utilities 1.6 percent will hardly make up for the overall increases of expenditures for the average family.

It is doubtful that this latest jobs report will influence the election either way. The president will no doubt point at the 171,000 jobs created and downplay the marginal increase to the unemployment rate, after all it is now below 8 percent. On the other hand Mitt Romney will continue to point to the fact that this is not what a real recovery looks like.

The most disconcerting point of this report is that there is no increase in manufacturing. Other than that with virtually most data unchanged it can only be good news for the president.

Source: Labor Department

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The US unemployment rate edged up to 7.9% and created 171,000 jobs
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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