Unemployment Rate Increases to 7.9%, as More People Enter Labor Force

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The unemployment rate in the United Stated went up by 1 percent to 7.9 percent in October, as many of the unemployed workers returned to the labor market and started looking for jobs. The private sector added 171,000 jobs.

Based on the data compiled by Bloomberg, economists expected an increase of 125,000 jobs for non-farm jobs in October.

According to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average monthly employment growth per month  was 157,000 jobs in 2012, compared with the 153,000 average monthly jobs increase last year.

Unemployment Rate Increases to 7.9%, as More People Enter Labor Force

The number of jobs added for the month of August was changed from 142,000 to 192,000 jobs, as well as the number of jobs added in September from 114,000 to 148,000.

Data showed that the professional and business services sector added 51,000 jobs in October. The sector has gained 1.6 million jobs since its lowest level in September 2009.

The health care sector employed 31,000 additional workers. Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to increase by 25,000, while hospitals hired an additional 6,000 workers in October. Based on the data, employment in the health care sector gained 296,000 jobs over the past year.

In October, jobs in the retail industry increased by 36,000. Dealers of motor vehicles and parts hired an additional 7,000 workers, while furniture and home furnishing stores gained 4,000 jobs. For the past three months, employment in the retail industry increased by 82,000 jobs.

Construction jobs increased by 17,000, particularly among specialty trade contractors, while the leisure and hospitality sector added 28,000 jobs in October.

According to the Labor Department, employment in manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation, information, financial services, and government showed minimal change. The total number of unemployed workers in the country remained at 12.3 million in October.

The average number of hours in the workweek in the private sector for all employees was 34.4 hours, and the average hourly earnings were $23.58 cents in October. The average hourly earnings increased by 1.6 percent during the past 12 months.

President Barack Obama’s economic adviser, Alan B. Krueger, wrote in the White House blog, “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class. The economy has now added private sector jobs for 32 straight months, and a total of 5.4 million jobs has been added during that period, taking account of the preliminary benchmark revision.”

On the other hand, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once again said, “The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work.”

Meanwhile, Brian Bethune, president of Alpha Economic Foresights, commented, “The employment markets are showing a palpable increase in forward momentum.”

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