Both the unemployment rate (5.0 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (7.9 million) were essentially unchanged in October. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.7 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), whites (4.4 percent), blacks (9.2 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.3 percent) showed little or no change in October.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.1 million in October and has shown little change since June. These individuals accounted for 26.8 percent of the unemployed in October.
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.4 percent in October, following a decline of 0.2 percentage point in September. The employment- population ratio, at 59.3 percent, changed little in October and has shown little movement over the past year.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) edged down by 269,000 to 5.8 million in October. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons has declined by 1.2 million.
In October, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 276,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 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 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 665,000 discouraged workers in October, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.