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.
William J. Wiatrowski
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, November 3, 2017
In October, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000,
after changing little in September. The unemployment rate edged
down to 4.1 percent in October. Employment rose sharply in food
services and drinking places, mostly offsetting a decline in
September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma
and Harvey. Job gains also occurred over the month in
professional and business services, manufacturing, and health
Incorporating revisions for September and August, which
increased nonfarm payroll employment by 90,000, monthly job
gains have averaged 162,000 over the past 3 months.
Employment in food services and drinking places increased
by 89,000 in October. This followed a decline of 98,000 in
September. Many workers in this industry who were off payrolls
due to the hurricanes returned to their jobs in October.
Professional and business services added 50,000 jobs over
the month, about in line with its average monthly gain over the
prior 12 months.
In October, employment in manufacturing increased by
24,000, with job gains in computer and electronic products
(+5,000) and chemicals (+4,000). Employment in fabricated metals
continued to trend up. Manufacturing has added 156,000 jobs
since an employment low in November 2016.
Employment in health care rose by 22,000 in October, as
employment continued to trend up in ambulatory care services.
Health care has added an average of 24,000 jobs per month thus
far in 2017, compared with an average gain of 32,000 per month
Employment in other major industries--including mining,
construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and
warehousing, information, financial activities, and government--
changed little over the month.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private
nonfarm payrolls changed little in October (-1 cent), after
increasing by 12 cents in September. Over the past 12 months,
average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent. From
September 2016 to September 2017, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.2 percent (on a
seasonally adjusted basis).
Turning now to measures from the household survey, the
unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent in October and is
down by 0.7 percentage point since January. The number of
unemployed people declined by 281,000 to 6.5 million in October
and has fallen by 1.1 million since January.
Among the unemployed in October, 1.6 million had been
searching for work for 27 weeks or more. These long-term
unemployed accounted for 24.8 percent of the total unemployed.
The labor force participation rate declined by 0.4
percentage point in October to 62.7 percent. Over the past year,
the labor force participation rate has shown no clear trend.
The employment-population ratio declined by 0.2 percentage
point to 60.2 percent in October, following an increase of 0.3
percentage point in September. This ratio is up by 0.5
percentage point over the past 12 months.
In October, the number of people working part time for
economic reasons, also referred to as involuntary part-time
workers, declined by 369,000 to 4.8 million. Over the past 12
months, the number of involuntary part-time workers has
decreased by 1.1 million.
Among those neither working nor looking for work in
October, 1.5 million people were marginally attached to the
labor force, little changed from a year earlier. Discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believe that no
jobs are available for them, numbered 524,000 in October,
essentially unchanged 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 for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12
In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 261,000
in October, after changing little in September. The unemployment
rate edged down to 4.1 percent over the month.