October Jobless Rate Falls to 4.1 Percent; 252,000 Jobs Created

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Businesses claimed to create a net of 252,000 new jobs last month, a separate survey said, but much of that came from restoring jobs lost to hurricanes. Governments added 9,000, all in local schools and the federal government.

The figures do not reflect the full impact of the hurricanes, as jobless numbers for the states don’t come out until later in November and BLS doesn’t survey Puerto Rico. But private surveys there, in data before two of the hurricanes smashed the commonwealth to smithereens, showed a jobless rate triple that of the mainland U.S.

On the mainland, the number of jobless declined by 281,000, to 6.52 million, BLS said. But other statistics were not as positive.

One of every four jobless workers has been out more than 26 weeks, meaning they’ve exhausted their unemployment benefits. The biggest job gains were in the lowest-paying sectors of the economy, all as usual in services: +88,500 in bars and restaurants, which is the lowest of all, followed by +22,000 jobs in health care and the hiring of 18,000 more temps.

“The black unemployment rate is at 7.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent for whites,” Economic Policy Institute analyst Heidi Shierholz added in a tweet. “As usual, the black rate is around twice as high. There are huge disparities in our labor market.”

Factories added 24,000 jobs in October, mostly in computers and electronics (+4,700), fabricated metals such as steel (+4,000), chemicals (+4,000 each) and cars (+3,400). There were 12.481 million factory workers in October, and 501,000 jobless factory workers (3.2 percent).

Construction firms added 11,000 jobs in October, to 6.93 million, all in building new homes and at specialty trade contractors. There were 418,000 jobless construction workers (4.5 percent). But construction union presidents say the official figures understate joblessness in their industry, since a worker toiling for one day during the survey week is counted as working for the entire month.

Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

California Protects Precariat Workers

From the AFL-CIO

In a historic win for California’s workers, the California Legislature approved a bill Sept. 13 that makes the misclassification of employees as independent contractors more difficult.

Sponsored by the California Labor Federation, Assembly Bill 5 codifies and expands on a 2018 California Supreme Court decision.

The bill also will help curb the rampant exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers and give California’s working people the basic rights and protections we all deserve. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law.

 “The time is up for unscrupulous employers who claim their workers are ‘independent’ in order to cut corners on costs,”  California Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez said about A.B. 5

***

More ...

Thank a Union

Thank a Union