Jobless rate remains at 9.6 percent

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The unemployment rate was unchanged in October, remaining at 9.6 percent, although 151,000 jobs were created last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The number of unemployed people, 14.8 million, was little changed in October. The unemployment rate essentially has been unchanged since May.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and longer) was nearly unchanged during the month, at 6.2 million. In October, 41.8 percent of the unemployed had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

About 2.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force in October, up from 2.4 million a year earlier. These people were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in October, an increase of 411,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people who are not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons fell by 318,000 during the month, to 9.2 million, partially offsetting large increases in the prior two months. These people were working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

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