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Job Creation Cools in the U.S.

Employment in retail sector essentially flat in October.

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Employment in the retail sector was virtually unchanged in October. PHOTOGRAPHY: monkeybusinessimages/iStock.com

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 150,000 in October, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The report noted that employment in the retail sector remained flat again this month, while the biggest job gains occurred in health care, government and social assistance. (Employment declined in manufacturing due to strike activity in the auto sector.)

The latest job-creation statistic reflects a cooling in the jobs sector, as it’s well below the average monthly gain of 258,000 over the prior 12 months.

The bureau noted that it has also revised downward the job-creation numbers for the prior two months. Specifically, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised down by 62,000, to a gain of 165,000, and the change for September was revised down by 39,000, to an uptick of 297,000. (Such revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors, the bureau notes.)

“It’s still a robust [jobs] market,” Ger Doyle, a senior vice president with ManpowerGroup, told CNN. “Overall, it’s stabilization coming back into the market. So, it’s solid and yet cooling.”

The bureau’s monthly findings are derived from two surveys:

  • A household survey, which measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.
  • An establishment survey, which measures nonfarm employment, hours and earnings by industry.

Click here for the bureau’s full report.

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