WASHINGTON — The October employment report contains a few rays of light, but overall paints a picture of a still-weak economy that will keep pressure on policy officials to stimulate.
October payrolls printed up 80,000 but upward revisions to September and August totaled 102,000, about five-eighths the size of their recent prints.
Such huge revisions are sometimes signs of turning points in the labor market.
The revisions were broadly based, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics economist.
The average gain in nonfarm payrolls over the past 12 months was 125,000, and even with revisions, the recent trend appears to remain close to that number.
The overall civilian unemployment rate remains elevated at 9.0% but fell 0.1 point over the month, on improvement in teen and women’s unemployment.
The October gain in employment was lower than the 95,000 median projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, but the 9.0% jobless rate was lower than the 9.1% rate they expected.
Hours rose and private average hourly earnings gained 3 cents for a 1% rise over the year, implying income and production gains over the year.
Private payrolls printed up 104,000. Private payrolls increased 191,000 in September and rose 72,000 in August, so the gain actually falls short of the previous two months’ 132,000 average.
Payroll composition included: manufacturing up 5,000, construction off 20,000, retail up 17,800, finance up 4,000, leisure up 22,000 (up 12,800 in restaurants), and health care up 11,600. But government dropped 24,000 as state and local education fell. Temporary help was up 15,000.
Overall, the data was not so bad but also not yet robust enough to alter the outlook.