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News from EPI Solid employment growth in October but still a lot of ground to make up

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For Immediate Release: Friday, November 2, 2012
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Donte Donald, 202-775-8810

Solid employment growth in October but still a lot of ground to make up

Today’s jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows solid employment growth from both the payroll and household survey. On the payroll side, 171,000 jobs were added in October, while revisions to prior months’ data increased the payroll count by an additional 84,000 jobs.  In the household survey, unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent, reversing some of the large drop in the unemployment rate in September. In today’s jobs picture, EPI economist Heidi Shierholz assesses what the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP), the share of the working-age population that has a job, reveals about labor market trends. Shierholz notes that the employment-to-population ratio of “prime-age” workers—workers age 25–54—dropped from 80.2 percent in early 2007 to under 75 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, and has since increased to 76 percent.  In other words, the labor market has experienced small but noticeable improvement since its low point three years ago, but still has a long way to go.

National employment and unemployment data are updated monthly on The State of Working America website.