U.S. job market sees modest growth, but unemployment rises

How does the American job market fare ahead of the election?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

In the last Labor department report on employment before the election is decided, job growth has seen a moderate increase, whereas unemployment has also risen from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a facet of the United States Department of Labor, has released a new report analysing how the job market has fared in recent months. According to the data, 171,000 new positions were created in October this year.

Unemployment rates remained unchanged throughout October, which means approximately 12.3 million Americans are currently out of work. Those who are considered "long term" unemployed -- 27 weeks or more -- represent 5 million of this statistic.

The labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and total employment rose by 410,000 during the month. Those who work part-time decreased by 269,000 in those four weeks, offsetting the 582,000 increase in September.

An interesting part of the round of surveys suggested that there are currently 813,000 Americans who have simply given up trying to find work. Labeled "discouraged", these U.S. citizens "are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them", according to the Department of Labor.

Professional and business services added 36,000 jobs in October, the leisure industry contributed with 28,000, healthcare by 31,000 and retail increased by 36,000, whereas construction saw a boost of 17,000. Manufacturing employment barely changed, and the mining industry saw a loss of 9,000 positions.

Employment growth has averaged at 157,000 new roles per month so far in 2012.

"Generally, the report shows that things are better than we'd expected and certainly better than we'd thought a few months ago," said Paul Dales, senior United States economist for Capital Economics told the New York Times. "But we're still not making enough progress to bring that unemployment rate down significantly and rapidly."

The research does not include the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, as surveys were conducted earlier within the month.

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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