Payrolls Expand by Estimate-Beating 204,000


The Department of Labor released its October employment situation report (link opens in PDF) today, and American jobs seem to have scraped through the government shutdown. After September saw 163,000 new jobs for non-farm payroll employment, October added a whopping 204,000, beating analyst estimates of just 120,000.

While the unemployment rate edged back up to 7.3%, from 7.2% in September, the number of unemployed barely budged at 11.3 million. October's report did see a spike in temporary unemployment, however, with around 448,000 more folks reporting temporary layoffs. This includes furloughed government workers. About 800,000 government workers were furloughed for all or part of the shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16, according to The Associated Press.

According to a special Labor Department release, "[T]here were no discernible impacts of the partial federal government shutdown on the estimates of employment, hours, and earnings."

Source: Labor Department.

In the private sector, employment increased the most in leisure and hospitality (53,000), followed by retail trade (44,000) and professional technical services (21,000).

Despite furloughed workers retaining their employed status, overall federal government employment fell 12,000 for October. In the past year, Uncle Sam has cut 94,000 employees from its federal payroll.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up $0.02 to $24.10. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged in October at 34.4 hours. The manufacturing workweek was 40.9 hours, the same as in September, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.4 hours.

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