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Friday, November 8, 2013

October 2013 Unemployment Rate and Jobs Numbers

October 2013 Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate were released this morning, Friday, November 8, 2013.

October Highlights:

  • 204,000 payroll jobs added.  (August and September numbers were revised upwards.)  Job growth has averaged 190,000/month over the past 12 months.
  • Private jobs increased by 212,000.
  • Government jobs decreased by 8,000.  These jobs numbers INCLUDE federal workers affected by the shutdown:  "Federal employees on furlough during the partial federal government shutdown were still considered employed in the payroll survey because they worked or received pay for the pay period that included the 12th of the month."  In other words, no federal workers were taken off of the payroll during the two shutdown weeks. 
  • Therefore, "There were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings from the establishment survey."
  • Unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3% (from 7.2%), however this includes over 400,000 federal workers who said that they were unemployed on "temporary layoff".  
  • The labor force decreased by 720,000 in October, but this also partially reflects government workers affected by the shutdown who may have misclassified themselves.   
  • NOTE:  To repeat, the government shutdown did not appreciably affect the payroll numbers because no government employees were taken off of payroll during the shutdown.  However, the Household Survey is based on workers' answers to questions.  Workers affected by the shutdown should have been classified as unemployed/on temporary layoff during the shutdown, but it appears that some did not answer the questions correctly.  Therefore, the Household Survey was affected by the shutdown.  Both the increase in the unemployment rate and the drop in the civilian labor force may have been related to the government shutdown.  It is best not to draw any conclusions on the long-term direction of the unemployment rate or the size of the civilian labor force based on October data. 
  • Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 7.2 million MORE jobs in total
    • 7.8 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 5.5 million MORE people working* 
    Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 2.9 million MORE jobs in total
    • 3.6 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 1.4 million MORE people working*

October 2013 reports:

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