The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

November 3, 2012

U.S. economy adds 171K jobs

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

“For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress,” Romney said. “For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better.”

Friday’s report included a range of encouraging details.

The government revised its data to show that 84,000 more jobs were added in August and September than previously estimated. August’s job gains were revised from 142,000 to 192,000, September’s from 114,000 to 148,000.

The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point in the past 12 months. Much of that decline occurred because people gave up looking for work. That pushed the percentage of Americans working or looking for work to 63.5 percent in August, a 31-year low.

But since then, more Americans have started or resumed their job hunts and most have found work. The percentage of Americans working or looking for work rose for a second straight month in October to 63.8 percent.

The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work dropped last month. And the number of discouraged workers also declined. A measure of unemployment that includes those two groups plus the unemployed dipped to 14.6 percent from 14.7 percent.

The economy has added jobs for 25 straight months. There are now 580,000 more than when Obama took office.

But there were also signs of the economy’s persistent weakness. Average hourly pay dipped a penny to $23.58. In the past year, average hourly pay for most workers rose only 1.1 percent. That’s the smallest annual gain on records dating back to 1965.

Because more people sought jobs than found one, the number of unemployed rose 170,000 to 12.3 million. That pushed up the unemployment rate.

The October jobs report was compiled before Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast earlier this week and devastated many businesses.

Job gains were spread broadly across most industries. Businesses added 184,000 jobs in October, the most in eight months. Government overall cut 13,000.

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