The Deception Continues: October Payrolls Rise 161,000, Unemployment Rate Dips To 4.9%

This morning, we got more happy news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The talking heads announced the results of the Establishment Survey: 161,000 jobs added in October. Did that sound good? You have to look under the hood, dear reader. Consider these facts from the same report.

The Household Survey posted a drop of 43,000 employed workers to 151,925,000, the first monthly decline since April. While the unemployment rate dipped modestly from 5.0% to 4.9%, labor force participation declined from 62.9% to 62.8%. According to the Household Survey, 425,000 discouraged people left the workforce in October. There are now 94,609,000 working age Americans not in the labor force, the most ever.


Quality of work means just as much as quantity. Since 2014 the U.S. has added 547,000 low-paid waiters and bartenders and lost 36,000 higher-paid manufacturing workers. Here’s what that looks like.


Average hourly earnings rose by a hotter than expected 0.4% in October, beating estimates of 0.3%, while September was also revised upward from 0.2% to 0.3%. Maybe American workers are finally getting a much deserved raise? Nope. Fooled you again. The increase was for ALL workers. Unfortunately, 82% of American workers didn’t get a raise. The wage increases went to the people at the top of the workforce.



The qualitative component of the October jobs report was really ugly again. In September, the Household Survey revealed that the number of part-time workers soared by 430,000 as full-time workers actually declined by 5,000. The trend continued in October, when another 103,000 full-time jobs were lost, offset by an increase in part-time jobs of 90,000.


The number of multiple jobholders rose to 8.050 million, the highest number on record! Many Americans are being forced by low pay to take more than one job.


This is the Obama economic recovery, a miracle of statistical deception and declining quality of work. Please don’t believe the headlines.