US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged in October, at 3.7 percent, as reported by the US Department of Labor. It was 4.1 percent a year ago in October 2017.

The civilian labor force participation rate rose by two tenths of a percent, to 62.9 percent. The participation rate has remained fairly steady since October of 2013.

The employment-population ratio also rose by two tenths of a percent, to 60.6 percent. October’s number marks the highest monthly employment-population ratio since January 2009.

In October, the unemployment rate for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree remained steady at 2.0 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October. The payroll employment numbers for both August and September 2018 were adjusted, but offset one another. Payroll employment gains have averaged 218,000 over the last three months.

Some details directly from the BLS report:


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, following an average monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.

In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment (+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable goods industries.

Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year, construction has added 330,000 jobs.

Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing and storage (+8,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 184,000.

Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.

In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.

Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries—including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government—showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at 33.7 hours, was unchanged over the month.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 in October.