The economy added 171,000 new jobs in October—the 32nd straight month of positive job growth—according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nation’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9%, up slightly from September’s 7.8%. The labor force grew by more than half a million workers in October, which is a positive sign, as more workers are seeking and finding jobs. The number of discouraged and involuntary part-time workers has fallen since last year.
The newly created jobs exceeded most economists’ predictions of 100,000 to 125,000 new jobs for the month. Also, September payrolls were revised to a gain of 148,000 from an initially reported 114,000, and August to 192,000 from 142,000.
It gets a little complicated, but we’re going to drill down into some new economic data from two new analyses, showing that contrary to what Mitt Romney and his economic hatchet man Paul Ryan claim, ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will not, repeat, will not hurt the economy or job growth.
Job growth in April rose by 115,000, above the 100,000 needed to keep up with new job entrants. The unemployment rate improved a tad, from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, as did the number of jobless, which declined from 12.7 million in March to 12.5 million in April, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released this morning. Some 14.5 million workers remain unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work.
The United Steelworkers (USW), the Spanish worker cooperative Mondragon—the world’s largest worker cooperative—and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) this week unveiled what they describe as a “template that combines worker equity with a progressive collective bargaining process.” USW President Leo Gerard says that “to survive the boom and bust, bubble-driven economic cycles fueled by Wall Street, we must look for new ways to create and sustain good jobs on Main Street.”
A little more than a year ago, under the guise of wrestling with state fiscal challenges, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his Republican allies in the state legislature launched an all-out attack on public-sector workers, claiming teachers, nurses, firefighters and snow plow drivers were the cause of the state’s financial problems and were impeding job growth. Doug Hall, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), looks at the state's job figures and separates Walker's fiction from the facts.