Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the country’s unemployment rate in October dropped one full point from the previous month, measuring 6.9%.
The BLS reported total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 638,000 in October.
Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, says there was a mixed message in the report.
“The good news is that private-sector hiring was stronger than expected, at more than 980,000 jobs, while the growth in permanent unemployment slowed over the last two months,” said Hicks.
The economist said the slowing is especially important because permanent job losses typically reflect permanent business closures which take much longer to rebound from than do temporary layoffs.
The BLS says notable job gains in October occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.
According to the government data, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased
by 1.2 million to 3.6 million in October. By contrast, the number of unemployed persons jobless 15 to 26 weeks decreased by 2.3 million to 2.6 million, and the number of persons jobless 5 to 14 weeks decreased by 457,000 to 2.3 million.
To view the report, click here.
Hicks says as of early October, the economy continued to improve in some places, but the rapid spread of COVID over the past three weeks suggests slower growth in the months ahead.
Hicks commented about the latest unemployment data on this week’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.