WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 10.2% in October, topping the 10% mark for the first time in 26 years, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Nonfarm payrolls dropped by a seasonally adjusted 190,000 in October, bringing to total number of jobs lost in the recession to 7.3 million. It was the 22nd straight decline in payrolls. Large losses were seen in manufacturing, construction and retail. Health care and temporary-help agencies added jobs. Read the full government report.
The report was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were forecasting a rise in the unemployment rate to 10%, with 150,000 lost payroll jobs. See Economic Calendar.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 10.2% was the highest since April 1983.
Unemployment rose by 558,000 to 15.7 million, the government said. Of those, 5.6 million had been out of work longer than six months, representing a record 35.6% of the unemployed.
The employment-population ratio fell to 58.5% from 58.8%. The employment-participation rate fell to 65.1% from 65.2%.
An alternative gauge of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers and those forced to work part-time, rose to 17.5%, the highest on record dating to 1995.
Total hours worked in the economy fell 0.2%. The average workweek was steady at a record-low 33 hours. Average hourly earnings rose 5 cents or 0.3%, to $18.72. Average hourly earnings are up 2.4% in the past year.
In September, payrolls fell by a revised 219,000, compared with the previous estimate of a 263,000 loss. The unemployment rate was 9.8% in September.
Payrolls in August and September were revised higher by a total of 91,000.
In its survey of 400,000 business establishments, the government found that private-sector employment fell by 190,000 to 130.8 million in October. Government employment was unchanged.
Employment in the goods-producing sector fell by 129,000, including 62,000 in construction and 61,000 in manufacturing. The average workweek in manufacturing rose to 40 hours from 39.9, the highest in 11 months.
Service-producing jobs fell by 61,000, including 40,000 in retail.
The only major sectors adding jobs were health care and education (up 45,000) and professional and business services (up 18,000). Temp-help agencies - a key leading indicator - added 34,000 jobs, the first significant increase since the recession began 22 months ago.
Of 271 industries, 33.8% were hiring in October, down from 37.5% in September.
In its survey of 60,000 households, the government found that employment fell by 589,000. The jobless rate for men rose to 10.7%, and it rose to 8.1% for adult women. The jobless rate for blacks rose to 15.7%, compared with 9.5% for whites and 13.1% for Hispanics.
The jobless rate for those with a college degree fell to 4.7% from 4.9%. For those without a high school diploma, the jobless rate rose to 15.5% from 15%. For those with a high school degree, but no college, the rate rose to 11.2%.
"This is another sign of full recovery will happen soon" - Tun Dr Ir. Sultan Lee
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