In the week ending Oct. 29th, 397,000 people filed for first week of unemployment benefits; down 9,000 from the week before. While no one could possibly say that the job market was anything close to a “healthy” state, it has, for now at least, moved out of the emergency room. Looking at a four week average, each week has seen an improvement of almost 2,000 jobs. What’s more, those working only part time jobs decreased by 374,000 in October, a 4 percent decrease. Discouraged workers, for their part, are down a shocking 20.6 percent from a year ago, indicating that the job market will improve.
Total employment in various sectors such as leisure, mining, retail, health care, and professional services have grown in the past month, culminating in a total of 1.52 million jobs added over the past 12 months. Construction and government employment growth, on the other hand, angled somewhat downward, but both show little change over the course of the year. Overall, the economy added 104k new jobs this past month, slightly lower than the 12 month average of 125,000 but only counting non-farm positions. Finally, September’s numbers have been revised to show a growth of 158,000, as opposed to the 103,000 initially announced.
So what about college students? As good as those numbers seem, which is to say, “somewhat” and “at least they’re not negative”, I doubt the demand for mining jobs among recent NU graduates is high. Happily, business and health care jobs have grown the most, with 32,000 and 12,000 jobs added to the total respectively. When I say that unemployment has gone down only 0.1 percent from where it was a month ago, and that it’s now at 9.0 percent, it’s a lot more comforting to know that unemployment for college graduates is 4.6 percent lower at 4.4 percent. This is an improvement from a year ago, which saw an unemployment rate of college graduates at 4.7 percent. While the employment increase is good news, the improvement looks to be steady and long-term.