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261,000 Jobs Were Added To U.S. Economy In October

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The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate fell by a small notch, from 4.2 percent to 4.1 percent.

Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes a month after large and destructive storms Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted the U.S. economy. In September, the BLS said the economy lost 33,000 jobs.

"In October, job gains also occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care," the BLS said.

The government breaks down job demographics:

"Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.6 percent) and Whites (3.5 percent) declined in October. The jobless rates for adult men (3.8 percent), teenagers (13.7 percent), Blacks (7.5 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little change."

The Labor Department unit also says that there were 524,000 discouraged workers in October, reflecting no meaningful change from one year earlier.

It defines that group of people: "Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them."

The labor force participation rate was reported at 62.7 percent — a slight decrease, but in line with results over the previous 12 months.
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Stephen George is President and CEO of Louisville Public Media. Email Stephen at sgeorge@lpm.org.