A very weak employment report

More bad economic news arrived today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate has gone up by 1-1/2 percentage points in the last six months, with 6.5% of the labor force now reporting themselves to be looking for work and unable to find it. That brings unemployment to a higher level than it reached in the preceding recession, and is a faster 6-month deterioration than was observed at any time during the preceding two recessions.

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Data from the BLS survey of establishments was no less grim. Not only did the BLS report 240,000 fewer workers on payrolls in October (on a seasonally adjusted basis) compared with September, but it revised the September job loss to 284,000, and the August loss to 127,000. That puts the 6-month change in employment at -0.6% and the year-over-year change at -0.8%.

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There was no place to hide in alternative employment measures. On Wednesday ADP estimated, on the basis of the payrolls that it processes for 24 million American workers, that private employment fell a seasonally adjusted 157,000 workers in October. Yet a third indicator, based on the BLS survey of households, estimated that U.S. employment fell by a seasonally adjusted 297,000 workers in October.

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All of which confirms the impression that the economic situation deteriorated considerably in September and October.


Originally published at Econbrowser and reproduced here with the author’s permission.