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US unemployment rate jumps to 6.5%

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In October the US lost 240,000 jobs and the US unemployment rate jumped to 6.5% from its previous 6.1%, a new 14-year high, surpassing the high seen in the last 2001 recession. Economists had forecast a 200,000 drop so the extra 40,000 jobs lost came as a surprise however, the biggest surprise was the Bureau of Labor revised September's losses up to 284,000 and even Augusts' number up to 127,000 which was an increase of 179,000 more jobs lost than previously announced. For the three months, August, September and October our payrolls have seen a drop of over 650,000 jobs and for the year to date the number is a staggering 1.18 million

The losses were widespread across industries with the brightest spot in health care, which actually added jobs in October and, of course, the Government, which added 23,000 jobs. The industry hit the hardest was Goods- producing with a loss of 132,000.

Total hours worked fell to 0.30% in October from 1.7% in the past year but the average workweek remained steady at 33.60 hours.

The Non-Farm Employment Report released today at 8:30 measures the change in the number of employed people during the previous month, excluding farm workers.

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