Unemployment rate unchanged, more workers forced into part-time employment
September’s job numbers indicate the unemployment rate remained steady at 9.1 percent, and that nearly half (44 percent) of the 14 million looking for work have been jobless for 27 weeks or longer.
103,000 jobs were created since August, buoyed by a work resolution between the Communications Workers of American and Verizon that brought 45,000 workers back on company rolls.
Part-time employees increasingly say they cannot find additional work because of the economy. 9.27 million workers find themselves unable to arrange more hours, compared to 8.8 million in August.
Speaking this morning on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said, “If Congress and the administration do nothing… the odds are rally high were going into recession next year.”
26,000 construction jobs were added in September, a reversal in the trend that saw the industry remain flat since February. Government payrolls continue to be pared down; 34,000 state, local, and federal jobs were lost in September.
Also from the Bureau of Labor Statistics summary:
Since April, payroll employment has increased by an average of 72,000 per month, compared with an average of 161,000 for the prior 7 months. In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 48,000 over the month and has grown by 897,000 since a recent low in September 2009. Employment in temporary help services edged up in September; this industry has added 53,000 jobs over the past three months. In September, employment growth continued in computer systems design and in management and technical consulting services.
Persons with a college degree have by far the lowest unemployment figures—4.2 percent.
And the rate along race and gender lines is as follows:
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.8 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in September.
In May, BLS released a study estimating the length of time a job seeker looks for work before giving up on finding an employer.
Before the economic downturn, finding a job took an average five weeks. But after between eight to ten weeks of not finding a job, the person exited the labor force. The corresponding numbers are now ten weeks and 20 weeks respectively, according to the most recent data from December of last year.
In August, President Obama announced a $447 billion jobs package that has met GOP resistance. If passed, it would exceed the per-year price tag of his 2009 stimulus bill. Confronted with considerable push-back against the legislation in from the GOP, the president has embarked on a road tour across the country promoting his plan.