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Private Sector Leads Surge as Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs; Unemployment Stuck at 9.6%

| November 5, 2010

© FlaglerLive Graphic

The economy picked up 151,000 jobs in October, led by private-sector job gains of 159,000–the best gains in that sector since March 2008, when the economy added 239,000 jobs. Previous job gains this year had been led by temporary federal, census bureau hiring. Almost all those jobs have since been eliminated.

The job losses for August and September were also revised upward, significantly so: Initial August losses of 57,000 jobs were revised to a loss of just 1,000 jobs, and September losses were revised from a loss of 95,000 to a loss of 45,000.

Overall, the unexpectedly strong job gains in October signaled a broader strengthening of the economy and perhaps longer-term growth. The unemployment rate, however, remains stuck at 9.6 percent. The economy must generate some 120,000 jobs a month just to stay even.

Government employment overall was little changed in October. Contrary to popular assumptions that government is expanding, employment in local government, excluding education, decreased by 14,000, and by 123,000 over the past 12 months. The number of temporary census workers fell by another 5,000 in October. It had peaked at 564,000 in May. There were just 1,000 temporary census workers left on federal payrolls in October.

In the private sector, employment in construction, wholesale trade, transportation, information, and financial activities showed little change in October. Manufacturing lost 7,000 jobs and tourism and the arts lost 26,000, but several other sectors grew. Those included health care (24,000 new jobs), retail (28,000, including 6,000 new jobs among auto retailers, an especially good sign for Detroit, and 5,000 jobs at electronics and appliance stores). Food services and bars added 24,000 jobs, offseting losses elsewhere in the hospitality industry.

The largest surge in the private sector was in temporary help, with gains of 35,000, or a total of 451,000 jobs since September 2009.

In another good sign of underlying strengthening in the economy, The number of people employed part time for economic reasons rather than by choice fell significantly, by 318,000, partially offsetting large increases in the prior two months.

Less encouraging: About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. These are workers who are available and looking, and had worked at some point in the previous 12 months, but were not counted among the unemployed because they hadn’t actually looked for work in the past four weeks. Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in October, an increase of 411,000 from a year earlier. They have simply given up looking. Their absence from the unemployment statistics significantly deflates the overall unemployment picture, though the trend remains positive.

In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $22.73. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.7 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents to $19.17.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour in October to 34.3 hours. The manufacturing workweek for all employees also increased by 0.1 hour, to 40.3 hours, while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours in October.

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4 Responses for “Private Sector Leads Surge as Economy Adds 151,000 Jobs; Unemployment Stuck at 9.6%”

  1. lawabidingcitizen says:

    The private sector aka capitalism is the only job creating area. As soon as we get the public sector aka the guvmint to stick to their knitting and get out of the way, the economy will bounce back nicely.

  2. Nick says:

    I will consider it good news when job creation ‘unsticks’ the unemployment rate.

  3. Kyle Russell says:

    “The private sector aka capitalism is the only job creating area. As soon as we get the public sector aka the guvmint to stick to their knitting and get out of the way, the economy will bounce back nicely.”

    Why would the private sector add jobs now? Is there some huge consumer demand being held back by the government? I doubt it.

  4. palmcoaster says:

    When it comes to our jobs losses and the real foreseeing soon to be solution for this tragic economic devastation of our lower and middle classes, none of our politicians or citizens address the real culprit! The reason is obvious and sticks out like a bad joke in our faces when we go shopping as “all or most is made in China”

    This is the reason and fate for our jobs, everything we consume is made in the following order; mostly China, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Mexico and others.

    How come we are all afraid to call the color red, red! Even Donald Trump hopefully running for President in the future will do it for this same reason. We need to tax imports and reopen our manufacturing here and bring back our jobs. End tax incentives or breaks for corporations outsourcing our jobs. This so called Free Trade is killing our middle society, is a real shame is Trade one way only in. Our manufacturers are allowed to set plants overseas so they can profit from the slavery salaries to their workers and the non compliance on pollution and pocket the difference. Because the products that bring back to us they charge it at the same rate as if produced by an American worker rate per hour. But …they pocket the difference in cases as far as paying a Chinese worker US$140/month for standing 8 hours straight on the assembly line. Is that what we want for our American workers?

    They are always bashing our workers and their unions covering up the real greed that drives these corporate giants to set plant overseas stealing our jobs.

    Another alleged excuse is that they have to compete in prices…bull! they do it to pocket the difference as they bring their finish products here to be sold to us with no import taxes….thanks to the “Free Trade”. How come this free trade is only materialized in our country…because all over the world you pay tax on anything imported if competing with national product further more here our Free Trade allows Free Price Dumping that destroys our honest industry. Remember our steel mills in PA? ask them.

    What good does it do to have a lot of Made in China cheap stuff when we no longer have the jobs to afford them, because the worker made it in China? Wouldn’t it be much better to pay more for goods made in the Good Old USA while providing the jobs that make it possible to buy them? Plus better quality.

    Just today I read that an Ohio chemical manufacturer will open a plant in Korea to make the material to be sold to us. One more to the list of more than 47,000 factories that left our USA mostly for Asia and other places since 2000 with millions of jobs lost here.

    We can produce all that we consume and should do it for; tv sets, fridges, ranges, A/C’s, computers, any electronic equipment, cars, toys, furniture, clothing. We do not need imports we will be US$60,000 plus richer each of us if we will take this approach other than this amount on debt. But of course then the 1% higher tier will not hold 40 trillion in wealth accumulated in the last 10 years from a meager original 3 trillion only. Regarding our exports we will still be exporting our large equipments like aircraft, boats, agricultural machinery etc. as our technology high quality can’t be copied yet. The solution to our unemployment is not more exports…that won’t fly. The solution is to tax imports and re energize, reinvest in our USA manufacturing creating jobs, a drastic needed measure to solve our American financial tragedy.
    Maybe we should start right now and try to buy Made in the USA in as much as we can, while we pressure our government to act right. I do.


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