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No News is Good News? The Latest (Ho-Hum) Employment Situation Report

Get your favorite seasonally appropriate pumpkin-flavored coffee beverage in hand: The latest Unemployment Situation Report is here. Just make sure that drink is caffeinated, because today’s BLS report is pretty – as Credit Suisse economists called it – “blasé.”

For the most part, figures were relatively unchanged from August to September, which certainly bodes well in the “no news is good news” sense that we’re still on the road to recovery…at the same time, however, we’re still on the road to recovery.

Even as top economists speculate that a double-dip recession is unlikely (silver lining!), it is painfully evident that recovery is going to take a long time… An AP story today cited Deutsche Bank economists pointing out that since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has only grown 3 percent – far less than the average 6.5 percent pace in postwar recoveries. Here’s a recap of the report:

What stayed (nearly) the same:

  •  Unemployment was essentially unchanged, with the number of unemployed persons at 14.8 million and a steady unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.
  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over), at 6.1 million, was little changed over the month but was down by 640,000 since a series high of 6.8 million in May.
  • The average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.2 hours.
  • Average hourly earnings for both employees on private nonfarm payrolls and private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by a whopping 1 cent (to $22.67 and $19.10, respectively).
  • Employment in manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities showed little change in September.

What changed for the better…

  • Private-sector payroll employment continued to trend up over the month, adding 64,000 jobs.
  • Health care employment rose by 24,000; professional and business services added 28,000 jobs; and leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 34,000.
  • Mining employment added 6,000 over the month.

… and for the worse:

  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (those working part time because their hours were cut back or they were unable to find full-time work) rose by 612,000 over the month to 9.5 million.
  • Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down by 95,000, government employment fell by 159,000, and employment in construction fell by 21,000.

For more highlights from the forecast, watch this clip of CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson on Squawk Box , as he discusses the hiring outlook for the next half of the year:


Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.

Thanks, for the update. Despite all the job cuts, I think we may be heading in a better direction.


Thanks, for the update. Despite all the job cuts, I think we may be heading in a better direction.


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