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October Brings 15,000 Temp Jobs

November 04 2011

The number of U.S. temporary help jobs rose by 15,000 in October, a smaller increase than the revised gain of 21,100 in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

U.S. temporary help jobs totaled approximately 2.31 million, seasonally adjusted, in October, up from September’s revised figure of 2.29 million. The temporary help penetration rate inched up to 1.75 percent in October from 1.74 percent in September.

On a year-over-year basis, the temporary help services industry has added 169,100 jobs, a 7.9 percent gain.

The employment services category, which includes temporary help services as well as employment placement agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations, gained 14,400 jobs in October, to a total of approximately 2.97 million jobs.

Overall, total nonfarm employment gained 80,000 jobs in October. A total of 131.52 million people were employed in October, seasonally adjusted. Employment in September, which was initially reported as a gain of 103,000 from August, gained 158,000 jobs, according to revised figures.

“While it may be enough to barely escape recession, the gain in jobs and incomes is not enough to offset consumer pessimism,” said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board. “The economy is simply not strong enough to deliver more than 125,000 jobs a month and continues to struggle to deliver even that much. There is no help on the way from monetary or fiscal policy, at the federal, state, or local level. It all adds up to a labor market struggle, continuing right through the upcoming holiday season and into winter.”

The jobless rate ticked down to 9.0 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, rose to 4.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in October from 4.2 percent in September. However, the college-level unemployment remains below the 4.7 percent in October 2010.

October’s job gains all came in the service sector, which added 114,000 jobs. The goods-producing sector lost 10,000 jobs, and the government sector lost 24,000 jobs.

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