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Wee Bit of Good News on the Job Front

Two things are a given at the beginning of every month: The rent comes due and U.S. employment figures are released. Regarding the latter, the economy added 151,000 jobs in October, reversing a trend of four months of job losses but not enough to cut into the stubborn 9.6 percent national unemployment rate.

Underemployment, a better gauge of the actual employment situation, did slip back from 17.1 percent to 17 percent. That means 17 percent of working Americans are unemployed, unable to find full-time work, or have simply given up looking. –JCL

The New York Times:

The United States economy added 151,000 jobs in October, a welcome change after four months of job losses but still not enough to make a dent in unemployment.

Private companies have been expanding their payrolls throughout 2010, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Private job growth had been overwhelmed by the elimination of temporary decennial Census jobs and layoffs by state and local government during the summer and early fall — until October.

On many levels, the October report was much stronger than expected. Forecasters had been expecting a gain of only 60,000 jobs. The report also revised the numbers for August and September, showing 110,000 fewer jobs losses than previously estimated. Hourly wages were slightly higher, too.

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