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Economic News, Data and Analysis

Unemployment at 5.6 percent

The unemployment rate showed no big change in September. The economy still seems to be limping along…


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: SEPTEMBER 2002
Both nonfarm payroll employment and the unemployment rate were essentially unchanged in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job losses in manufacturing and transportation offset gains in finance and health services.
Unemployment (Household Survey Data)
The number of unemployed persons (8.1 million) and the unemployment rate (5.6 percent) were essentially unchanged in September. The jobless rates for the major worker groups–adult men (5.2 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), teenagers (15.7 percent), whites (5.1 percent), blacks (9.6 percent), and Hispanics (7.4 percent)–showed no statistically signi- ficant change in September. (See tables A-1 and A-2.)
Total Employment and the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)
Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose by 711,000 to 135.2 million in September, after seasonal adjustment. Nearly half of this increase was among teens, who experience large seasonal swings in employment between August and September. The total employment-population ratio was up by 0.2 percentage point to 63.0 percent. This ratio was 0.6 percentage point lower than in September 2001 and 1.8 percentage points lower than its peak in April 2000. (See table A-1.)
The civilian labor force increased by 661,000 over the month to 143.3 million, seasonally adjusted, and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 66.8 percent. (See table A-1.)

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