Bureau of Labor Statistics: 171K private sector jobs added in October; unemployment rate still below 8%
More than 171,000 private sectors jobs were added in October and unemployment rate remained below 8% for the second consecutive month, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning.
The BLS announcement also revised employment figures for August and September, reflecting an additional 84,000 jobs created during that period.
The latest employment numbers – released within days of the Nov. 6th election – was better than what some analysts have anticipated, and the White House was quick to cite the figures as evidence that the economy is recovering due to President Barack Obama’s policies.
“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,” according to a White House blog post written by Alan Krueger, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. “It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”
Krueger called on Congress – particularly the Republican-dominated House – to extend the expiring Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class families; support Obama’s plan to allow “responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgage and take advantage of today’s historically low rate”; and approve pieces of the Jobs Act, including funding to repair and rebuild aging infrastructures like roads, highways, bridges, and ports as well as providing fundings to states and local governments to prevent massive teacher layoffs.
As expected, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a different view on the October jobs figures than the White House.
“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill,” said Romney in a statement. “We can do better. We can have real economic growth, create millions of good-paying jobs, and give middle-class families the security and opportunity they deserve. When I’m president, I’m going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery, so that the next four years are better than the last.”
Read more: U.S. unemployment rate dips below 8%
The unemployment uptick, however, could be attributed to a rise of 578,000 people entering the labor force in October, increasing the labor force participation rate to 63.8% (up from 63.6% in September) and bringing the total civilian labor force to about 155.6 million people.
At the same time, total employment rose by 410,000, which helped keep October unemployment rate below 8% despite more people entering the work force.
The BLS report found that much of the October job growth were in the professional and business services, health care, and retail sectors.
Professional and business services added about 51,000 jobs, including 13,000 jobs related to services to buildings and dwellings and 7,000 computer design jobs.
Health care added 31,000 jobs, 25,000 of which are in the ambulatory care services and 6,000 jobs in hospitals.
Retail added 36,000 jobs. Cars and auto parts sales added 7,000 jobs. Furniture retailers also added 4,000 jobs.
Leisure and hospitality added 28,000 jobs, while construction added 17,000 jobs last month.
- BLS.gov: Employment situation summary – October 2012
- WhiteHouse.gov: The Employment Situation in October
- MittRomney.com: Mitt Romney: Today’s report is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill (PDF)
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Mitt Romney’s statement on the October jobs report
- WhatTheFolly.com: U.S. unemployment rate dips below 8%
- WhatTheFolly.com: U.S. economy added 96K jobs in August but labor participation rate hits 30-year low
- WhatTheFolly.com: House GOP rejects Senate tax cut extension bill
- WhatTheFolly.com: Senate Democrats pass middle-class tax cut