Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.



                            Statement of
                            
                          Erica L. Groshen
                            Commissioner
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                      Friday, November 8, 2013



	Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and 
the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent. Over 
the prior 12 months, job gains averaged 190,000 per month. In 
October, employment rose in leisure and hospitality, retail 
trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing, and 
health care.

      The release of these data comes 1 week later than 
originally scheduled because of the recent partial federal 
government shutdown, which began on October 1st and ended on 
October 16th. All data collection activities for both the 
household and payroll surveys were suspended during the 
shutdown. Shortly after the shutdown ended, October data 
collection for both surveys began. BLS delayed the release of 
the October estimates by 1 week to allow enough time to collect 
data. The October reference period for each survey was 
unchanged. Although data collection was delayed, the response 
rate for the household survey was within its normal range, and 
the response rate for the establishment survey was above 
average. 
      
      Looking at the October payroll survey estimates, there were 
no discernible impacts of the partial federal government 
shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings. 
      
      Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 53,000 in 
October, following little change in the previous month. Job 
growth in the industry averaged 34,000 per month over the prior 
12 months. Most of the gain in October, as well as over the 
year, occurred in food services and drinking places.
      
      In October, retail trade gained 44,000 jobs, with increases 
in food and beverage stores (+12,000), electronics and appliance 
stores (+10,000), sporting goods and hobby stores (+8,000), 
general merchandise stores (+8,000), and building material and 
garden supply stores (+7,000). Clothing and accessories stores 
lost 13,000 jobs.
      
      Professional and technical services employment rose by 
21,000 in October. The management and technical consulting 
services component added 8,000 jobs. 
      
      In October, manufacturing employment rose by 19,000. On 
net, factory employment has been about unchanged since a recent 
peak in February 2013. Within manufacturing, job growth in 
October occurred in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000), wood 
products (+3,000), and furniture and related products (+3,000).
      
      Health care employment was up by 15,000 in October, 
following little change in September. Thus far in 2013, monthly 
job growth has averaged 17,000 in the sector, compared with an 
average monthly gain of 27,000 in 2012.
      
      Elsewhere in the private sector, employment showed little 
or no change in October.
      
      Within government, federal government employment declined 
by 12,000 in October. Over the year, job losses in federal 
government have totaled 94,000. Federal employees on furlough 
during the partial 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 
the establishment survey, workers who are paid for any part of a 
pay period are defined as employed.
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls edged up by 2 cents in October. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 52 cents, or 2.2 
percent. From September 2012 to September 2013, the Consumer 
Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 1.2 percent.
      
      Turning to our survey of households, the unemployment rate, 
at 7.3 percent, was little changed in October, and the number of 
unemployed persons remained at 11.3 million.  
      
      Unlike the establishment survey, some of the estimates from 
the household survey clearly reflect an impact of the partial 
government shutdown. This is due to differences in the concepts 
and definitions used in the two surveys. In the household 
survey, workers who indicate that they were not working during 
the entire reference week due to a shutdown-related furlough and 
expect to be recalled to their jobs should be classified as 
unemployed on temporary layoff, whether or not they are paid for 
the time they were off work. In October, many furloughed federal 
employees were so classified, contributing to a rise in the 
overall number of persons unemployed on temporary layoff. 
      
      However, some federal workers who were not at work during 
the entire reference week in October were not classified as 
unemployed on temporary layoff. Rather, they were classified as 
employed but absent from work. Our review of the data indicates 
that most of these workers should have been classified as 
unemployed on temporary layoff. Such a misclassification is an 
example of nonsampling error and can occur when respondents 
misunderstand questions or interviewers record answers 
incorrectly. According to usual practice, the data from the 
household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data 
integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reassign survey 
responses. 
      
      If the federal workers who were recorded as employed but 
absent from work had been classified as unemployed on temporary 
layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been slightly, 
but not substantively, higher than reported. 
      
      Returning to the indicators from the household survey for 
October, the labor force level fell by 720,000 to 154.8 million, 
and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.4 
percentage point to 62.8 percent. The number of employed persons 
fell by 735,000 to 143.6 million, and the employment-population 
ratio declined by 0.3 percentage point to 58.3 percent. The 
October decrease in employment in the household survey was due 
partly to federal workers on furlough from the partial 
government shutdown. As always, subsequent months of data may 
provide further insights into underlying trends in the job 
market.
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000 
in October, and the unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent, changed 
little.
      
      


Last Modified Date: November 08, 2013