The nation’s unemployment rate slipped to 9.0 percent in October, as employers added 80,000 new jobs to their payrolls, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Officials called the rate “little changed,” down from 9.1 percent the month before. The unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent since April.
The number of newly employed Americans closely tracked market expectations. Forecasts ranged between 75,000 and 95,000 new jobs for the month, however, analysts were expecting the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
Figures for the previous two months were revised upward. The Labor Department says the economy added 104,000 new jobs in August, as opposed to the previously reported 57,000.
The change for September was revised from 103,000 to 158,000 new jobs. (September’s numbers benefited from the return of about 45,000 telecom workers who had been on strike.)
Government data shows that there are 13.9 million people out of work in the United States.
Extended unemployment has become the biggest driver of mortgage delinquencies. In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for longer than six months) declined by 366,000 to 5.9 million, or 42.4 percent of total unemployment.
The number of persons employed part time because their hours had been cut or because they were unable to find a full-time job, decreased by 374,000 to 8.9 million in October.
Officials from the Federal Reserve said this week that they don’t expect the unemployment rate to fall below 9.0 percent until next year, ranging between 8.5 and 8.7 percent in 2012. The rate is not projected to breach the 7.5 percent threshold until 2014.
Source - DSNews