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 Daylight Time. Statement of William J. Wiatrowski Acting Commissioner Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, November 2, 2018 Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. Employment increased in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing. Incorporating revisions for August and September, which offset each other, monthly job gains averaged 218,000 over the past 3 months. Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018, during the reference periods for both the establishment and household surveys. Hurricane Michael had no discernible effect on the national employment and unemployment estimates for October, and response rates for the two surveys were within normal ranges. Regional and state estimates for October will be released on November 16th. In October, health care added 36,000 jobs. Within the industry, job gains occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+14,000). Over the year, employment in health care increased by 323,000. Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in October. Most of this increase occurred in the durable goods component (+21,000), with a gain of 10,000 jobs in transportation equipment. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing added 296,000 jobs, the bulk of which were in durable goods. Employment in construction increased by 30,000 in October and by 330,000 over the year. Residential specialty trade contractors added 14,000 jobs over the month. Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Job growth in the industry has picked up over the past 3 months. In October, job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing and storage (+8,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The average job gain over these 2 months (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly gain in the industry for the 12 months prior to September. In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+35,000). Over the year, the industry added 516,000 jobs. Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000) and was up by 65,000 over the year. Employment in other major industries--including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government--showed little change over the month. Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents in October to $27.30. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up by 3.1 percent. From September 2017 to September 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.3 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Turning to measures from the household survey, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed people changed little at 6.1 million. Over the year, the jobless rate was down by 0.4 percentage point, and the number of unemployed decreased by 449,000. Among the unemployed, the number who had been searching for work for 27 weeks or longer, at 1.4 million, was essentially unchanged in October. These long-term unemployed accounted for 22.5 percent of the total unemployed. Over the month, the labor force increased by 711,000 and the labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has shown little change. In October, the employment-population ratio edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent. Over the year, the employment- population ratio was up by 0.4 percentage point. In October, there were 4.6 million people working part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers), about unchanged from the previous month. Among those neither working nor looking for work in October, 1.5 million were considered marginally attached to the labor force, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 506,000 in October, also little different from a year earlier. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available to work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.) In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent.
Last Modified Date: November 02, 2018