The unemployment rate inched down slightly to 9 percent in October as 80,000 new jobs were added, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment in the private sector rose, with modest job growth continuing in professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining. Government employment continued to trend downward.
Both the number of unemployed people (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9 percent) changed little during the month. The unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range of 9 to 9.2 percent since April.
In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 366,000, to 5.9 million, or 42.4 percent of total unemployment.
Last month, 2.6 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as 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.