The near double-digit unemployment figure trend continued during the month of October. The Department of Labor released the official employment summary and despite adding 159,000 private sector jobs, October 2010 unemployment remained unchanged at 9.6 percent. This marks the third consecutive moth that the unemployment rate has been 9.6 percent.
Temporary employment in the professional and business services industries rose again in October, adding 35,000 new positions. The temporary help services sector has added 451,000 new jobs since September 2009.
Other sectors adding employment in October 2010 include computer systems design and related services (+8,000), health care (+24,000), automobile dealerships (+6,000), electronics and appliance stores (+5,000) and mining (+8,000). It is likely that we will continue to see short-term jobs in the retail sector increase as we enter the holiday shopping season.
Despite the addition of 159,000 new jobs during October, there are still 14.8 million unemployed people in our nation. Of these, 6.2 million, or 41.8 percent, have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer.
Marginally attached workers increased to 2.6 million in October 2010 from 2.4 million last year. These individuals want to work, have actively sought employment during the past year but are not counted as part of the 14.8 million unemployed workers because they haven’t searched for work during the previous four weeks. Of these 2.6 million, 1.2 million are discouraged, up 411,000 from last year.
Although the recession officially ended in the summer of 2009, employment recovery is still lagging far behind. One can only wonder what effect the midterm elections will have on the nation's employment crisis.