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Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy had no effect on October employment data

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, according to a report just released by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade over the month.  Thus far in 2012, employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly gain in 2011 (+153,000).

"I would note that Hurricane Sandy had no discernable effect on the employment and unemployment data for October," said John M. Galvin, Acting Commissioner of Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Household survey data collection was completed before the storm struck the East Coast, and establishment survey data collection rates were within the normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas," Galvin said.

Other information worth noting in the report was the number of involuntary part-time workers declined by 269,000 to 8.3 million in October; this follows an increase of 582,000 in September.  On net, involuntary part-time employment has changed little over the past 3 months.

Also, the labor force increased by 578,000, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent in October.  Total employment, as measured by the household survey, increased by 410,000, while the employment-population ratio was little changed at 58.8 percent.

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