October Payrolls Soar By 204,000, Nearly Double Expected Print; Unemployment Rate Rises To 7.3%

So much for all the fire and brimstone associated with the government shutdown.

  • October nonfarm payrolls soar +204,000, nearly double the 120,000 expected.
  • Unemployment rate at 7.3%, up from 7.2%.

And just like that, the "Taper talk" is back...

From the report:

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 11.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent, changed little in October. Among the unemployed, however, the number who reported being on temporary layoff increased by 448,000. This figure includes furloughed federal employees who were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff under the definitions used in the household survey. (Estimates of the unemployed by reason, such as temporary layoff and job leavers, do not sum to the official seasonally adjusted measure of total unemployed because they are independently seasonally adjusted.) For more information on the classification of workers affected by the federal government shutdown, see the box note. (See tables A-1 and A-11.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.0 percent), adult women (6.4 percent), teenagers (22.2 percent), whites (6.3 percent), blacks (13.1 percent), and Hispanics (9.1 percent)  showed little or no change in October. The jobless rate for Asians was  5.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year  earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.1 million in October. These individuals accounted for 36.1 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 954,000 over the year. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force was down by 720,000 in October. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent over the month. Total employment as measured by the household survey fell by 735,000 over the month and the employment-population ratio declined by 0.3 percentage point to 58.3 percent. This employment decline partly reflected a decline in federal government employment. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 8.1 million in October. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

* * *

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000 in October. Job growth averaged 190,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In October, job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and technical services, manufacturing, and health care. Federal government employment continued to trend down. There were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings from the establishment survey. (See table B-1.)
 
Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 53,000 in October. Within the industry, employment in food services and drinking places increased by 29,000, the same as its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade increased by 44,000 in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 31,000 over the prior 12 months. Job growth was widespread within the industry in October, with gains 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 clothing accessories stores lost 13,000 jobs.

Professional and technical services employment rose in October (+21,000) and has grown by 213,000 over the past 12 months. Within the industry, employment in management and technical consulting services rose by 8,000 in October.

Manufacturing added 19,000 jobs in October, with job growth occurring in motor vehicles and parts (+6,000), wood products (+3,000), and furniture and related products (+3,000). On net, manufacturing employment has changed little since February 2013.

Health care employment increased over the month (+15,000). Job growth in health care has averaged 17,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 27,000 in 2012.

In October, employment showed little or no change elsewhere in the private sector, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities.