128,000 Jobs Added in October

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The October job gains suggests the job market is still showing solid gains. Total employment increased by 128,000 and the unemployment rate inched up 0.1 percentage points to 3.6%.

Residential construction employment increased by 5,100 in October, after an increase of 5,500 jobs in September (revised). Total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) employment totaled about 7.5 million in October.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Employment Situation Summary for October. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 128,000 in October, following an increase of 180,000 jobs in September.

Job gains in September and August were revised higher. The September increase was revised upward to 180,000, while the August increase was revised upward to 219,000. With the upward revisions, job gains in the previous two months increased by 95,000 totally. Monthly employment growth has averaged 167,000 per month for the first ten months of 2019, compared with the average monthly growth of 223,000 over all of 2018. Over the past twelve months, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.1 million, with the average monthly growth of 174,000.

In October, the unemployment rate inched up 0.1 percentage points to 3.6%. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons was little changed (+86,000) and the number of employed persons increased by 241,000. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, the proportion of the population either looking for a job or already with a job, ticked up by 0.1 percentage points to 63.3% in October.

Additionally, monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that employment in the overall construction sector increased by 10,000 in October. The number of residential construction jobs rose by 5,100 in October, following an increase of 5,500 jobs in September.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.9 million in October, broken down as 847,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 4,167 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 53,700 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 939,000 positions.

In October, the unemployment rate for construction workers rose to 4.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from 3.9% in September. Despite the monthly volatility, the unemployment rate for the construction sector remains historically low.



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