Payroll employment in October 2008

November 12, 2008

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October, following declines of 127,000 in August and 284,000 in September, as revised.

Over-the-month change in payroll employment, January 2007-October 2008
[Chart data—TXT]

Employment has fallen by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008; over half of the decrease has occurred in the past 3 months.

In October, job losses continued in manufacturing, construction, and several service-providing industries. Health care and mining continued to add jobs.

Manufacturing employment declined by 90,000 over the month. Construction employment fell by 49,000. Within professional and business services, the employment services industry shed 51,000 jobs in October. Retail trade employment fell by 38,000, with the largest losses occurring among automobile dealers. Employment in financial activities declined by 24,000 in October.

Health care employment continued to expand in October, with an increase of 26,000. The mining industry added 7,000 jobs.

These data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program, and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent two months are preliminary. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation: October 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1617.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Payroll employment in October 2008 on the Internet at (visited October 01, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.