November 6, 2015

October Employment Situation Summary (110615): 271K Jobs Added, 5.0 Pct. Unemployment Rate

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:17 am

Predictions: Per Yahoo’s economic calendar

  • — 167,000 payroll jobs added, unemployment rate 5.2 percent
  • “Markets” — 181,000 payroll jobs added, unemployment rate 5.1 percent

Not Seasonally adjusted benchmarks: The graphic will come later, but the benchmarks are 1.1 million total nonfarm jobs added, with 600,000 in the private sector.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

HERE IT IS (full report with tables): Pending a look at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the seasonal conversion and the underlying data, it looks very good —

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and
business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate (5.0 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (7.9 million) were essentially unchanged in October. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.7 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), whites (4.4 percent), blacks (9.2 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.3 percent) showed little or no change in October.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since June. These individuals accounted for 26.8 percent of the unemployed in October.

The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.4 percent in October, following a decline of 0.2 percentage point in September. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, changed little in October and has shown
little movement over the past year.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 271,000 in October. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth had averaged 230,000 per month. In October, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail
trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 78,000 in October, compared with an average gain of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In October, job gains occurred in administrative and support services (+46,000),
computer systems design and related services (+10,000), and architectural and engineering services (+8,000).

Health care added 45,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth continued in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and in hospitals (+18,000). Over the past year, health care has added 495,000 jobs.

Employment in retail trade rose by 44,000 in October, compared with an average monthly gain of 25,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job gains occurred in clothing and accessories stores (+20,000), general merchandise stores
(+11,000), and automobile dealers (+6,000).

Food services and drinking places added 42,000 jobs in October. Over the year, the industry has added 368,000 jobs.

Construction employment increased by 31,000 in October, following little employment change in recent months. Employment in nonresidential specialty trade contractors rose by 21,000. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 233,000 jobs.

Employment in mining continued to trend down in October (-5,000). The industry has shed 109,000 jobs since reaching a recent employment peak in December 2014.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $25.20, following little change in September (+1 cent). Hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent over the year. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 9 cents to $21.18 in October.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +136,000 to +153,000, and the change for September was revised from +142,000 to +137,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August
and September combined were 12,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 187,000 per month.

Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks:

  • Total nonfarm — benchmark was 1.1 million; actual was 1.152 million.
  • Private sector — benchmark was 600,000; actual was 655,000.

This is a very rare instance —at most, the third or fourth since the recession ended in June 2009 — that the not seasonally adjusted figures in both categories topped the benchmarks.

Here’s the graphic, with prior-month revisions:


The seasonal conversions look reasonable compared to last year, and understated compared to previous years. 300K or even 325K would have been defensible in the circumstances. (Keep in mind, though, that last month’s seasonal adjustment in the private sector came in much higher than one would have expected based on an eyeball review.)

More later after some review.

UPDATE: Comments (based on seasonally adjusted numbers unless otherwise indicated) —

  • The malaise indicators didn’t change all that much. Yes, the civilian labor force increased by 313K in October, but it’s still 9K below where it was in June. The participation rate stayed the same and the employment-population ratio edged up.
  • Meanwhile, someone need to explain how only Household Survey employment has increased by only 381K since June, when the Establishment Survey says there are 784K more payroll jobs. Is self-employment really declining that badly?
  • Full-time employment increased by 185K and is back to exactly where it was two months ago. Part-time employment increased by 214K.
  • Birth/Death provided 165K estimated not seasonally adjusted jobs, which is consistent with last year’s 164K.
  • The U-6 rate, if anyone still believes it any more, given how many Americans are supposedly unemployed because they’re not looking hard enough for work, is back into single digits (9.8 percent) for the first time in probably 8-9 years.
  • Once again, temporary help services contributed disproportionately to the employment pickup (+24.5K), and once again, BLS didn’t note that outsized number in the text of its release.  Not seasonally adjusted temp employment jumped by 64.8K, and topped 3 million for the first time ever.

The pundits seem to believe that this makes a rate hike by the Fed a virtual certainty. We’ll see. With so much weakness in the sectors which actually produce and sell stuff, I’d like to hope so as part of a return to a genuinely market- and risk-based economy, but I’m not so sure.

Meanwhile, if we’re finally seeing a bit of a breakout from the mediocre past six-plus years, businesses, entrepreneurs and investors get the credit for partially overcoming significant economic policy barriers erected in Washington, where the Obama administration will surely act as if it went out and personally hired each and every person in the labor force in October.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110615)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Equality doesn’t mean men in the ladies’ room, Houston voters say

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Houston:

Nov 4, 2015 / 03:28 pm

Houston voters on Tuesday repealed a strict anti-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 61 to 39 percent, following concerns that the law’s broad effects would allow men into women’s restrooms.

John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School, told the Daily Caller that if the ordinance had stood, it would have meant “nothing could be done” involving a man in a woman’s restroom if he claimed that he identifies as a woman.

“Many women would feel very uneasy, and suffer what they regard as an invasion of their sexual privacy, if they were forced to share restroom, shower, and other facilities with anatomical men, regardless of what the men claim,” he said.

The ordinance established legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to federal protected categories like sex, race, religion, age, and disability. The ordinance would have applied to all businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing and city contracting. Violations could result in up to $5,000 in fines. The law had an exemption for religious institutions.

The city council passed the ordinance by a vote of 11-6 in May 2014, saying it was intended to protect equal rights.

Opponents of the law then launched a repeal referendum. Although they collected three times the required number of voter signatures, the mayor and city attorney rejected the city secretary’s certification of the petitions. This prompted a legal challenge to force the city to follow its repeal standards.

In July 2015, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the city to repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot …

Go here for the rest of the story.