The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that unemployment in the United States has risen from 9.8 percent to 10.2 percent, while shedding 190,000 positions. Revisions to job loss estimates from August and September caused the total losses over the previous two months to decline by 93,000 fewer positions than previously reported. It is not uncommon for the labor market to begin to see some improvement and for people who had sat on the sidelines to re-enter the workforce. Currently 2.2 percent of the U.S. workforce falls into that category, its highest point since 1983.
While the rate of job losses continues to be substantial and the top line numbers keep declining, the most leading indicators of the job market are starting to heal. The reversal for temp workers, an increase in re-entrants, and a decrease in unemployment for those with a 4-year degree or higher from 4.9 to 4.7 percent all point towards early signs of improvement.
After adding just 3,000 jobs in September, professional and business services added 18,000 jobs in October, marking just the second positive reading for the sector since the beginning of the recession. Within the professional and business services sector, the biggest winner was temporary help services which added 33,000 positions, after having lost upwards of an average of 40,000 per month in all of 2008 and the first half of this year. Other categories also adding jobs, though not as impressively, include accounting and bookkeeping services (3,800), management and technical consulting (7,300), computer system design and related services (4,500), securities, commodity contracts and investments (500). While the overall retail industry remained weak, losing just shy of 40,000 positions, health and personal care stores, home furnishings, and clothing stores added positions during the month.
(Scroll Down for a list of open positions)