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Who's Gaining and Losing in the Job Market

Posted by: Dan Beucke on November 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM


The early read on this morning’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is that it illustrates the “frustratingly slow,” “sluggish,” or “muddling” recovery. Certainly the 80,000 overall payroll gain did little to juice the stock market. A dive into the BLS tables shows a bit more granular detail, with mostly narrow gains and a few setbacks:


  • Private-industry workers overall: Up 104,000 for the month.
  • Manufacturing: Up 5,000, the first gain in three months.
  • Teenagers: 16-19 year old unemployment fell to 24.1 percent, from 24.6 percent in September and 27.1 percent a year earlier.
  • Voluntary job leavers: Up 25 percent, to 1.07 million. (Some read more people quitting voluntarily as a vote of confidence in the job market; the BLS explains here why it may not be.)
  • The long-term jobless (27 weeks and more): Their ranks fell 6 percent vs. September. The median duration of joblessness fell as well, to 20.8 weeks.
  • Discouraged workers (those who want work but haven’t looked for at least four weeks): Down 7 percent, to 967,000.
  • Health and education: Added 28,000 jobs.
  • Pay: Average private weekly earnings rose less than $2 vs. last month, to $795.42. That’s up $14 vs. a year earlier.


  • Government workers: Employment fell 24,000 for the month.
  • Construction workers: Employment fell 20,000, reversing September gains.
  • Iraq/Afghanistan veterans: The number of jobless vets who served since September 2001 rose 19 percent, to 240,000, from a year earlier. Their unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent vs. 10.6 percent.
  • Self employed: Their jobless rate rose to 6.1 percent, from 5.4 percent a year ago.

(Photographer: Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg)

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"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

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