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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Report: Unemployment Ticks Slightly Upward, Productivity Increases

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the U.S. economy experienced little unemployment change in October.

In a report released today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that the economy added 171,000 nonfarm jobs in October, ticking the overall unemployment figure up a mere 0.1 percent from September’s 7.8 percent unemployment total. Both figures represent little change.

Most employment gains were in professional and business services, health care and retail trade. Manufacturing employment remained little changed, continuing a trend since April.

On Thursday, the BLS released a different report showing that nonfarm business labor productivity increased at a 1.9 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2012. The BLS determined this percentage from a 3.2 percent output increase and a 1.3 percent hours worked increase.

The manufacturing sector experienced a slight decrease in productivity. Output decreased 0.6 percent and hours worked decreased 0.2 percent, yielding a total productivity decline of 0.4 percent. However, manufacturing experienced a 1.5 percent productivity increase over the past four quarters, with an output increase of 4.1 percent and hours worked increase of 2.6 percent.

–Brian Lane

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