New Jobs Report Continues Pattern of Weak Growth

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Written by Dean Baker   
Friday, 04 November 2011 14:30

The economy generated just 80,000 jobs in October, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment report. The latest jobs numbers continue a pattern of weak job growth. While upward revisions for the prior two months brought the three-month average to 114,000 jobs, this is only slightly higher than the 90,000 necessary to keep pace with the growth of the labor force. With this pace, it would take more than 33 years to return to pre-recession employment rates. And there is zero evidence in the latest jobs report of anything to suggest a boost to the labor market is on the horizon.

The data in the household survey was slightly more encouraging. While the unemployment rate edged down to 9.0 percent, the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) increased by 0.1 percentage points to 58.4 percent. This is up from a low of 58.1 percent in July. This is a turn in the right direction; although this figure is still just bringing the EPOP back to its May level. It is still 5.0 percentage points below the pre-recession peaks hit in 2006.

For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.