November 2, 2012

October Unemployment Report

October 2012

Unemployment Rate:           7.9 percent

Unemployed Americans:     12.3 million

“Real” Unemployment    

  • The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 14.6 percent for October 2012. This is the total percentage of unemployed and underemployed workers. 
  • The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 23 million. These are people who are unemployed (12.3 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.4 million), or are working part time because they can’t find full time employment (8.3 million).
  • The difference from when President Obama took office is 800,000 more Americans unemployed or underemployed.

Labor Force Participation    

  • The labor force participation rate is 63.8 percent, the lowest rate in 29 years. If the labor force participation rate were the same as when the President took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.5 percent.


  • The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent for October 2012, which is an increase of 0.1 percent from September, and an increase of 171,000 nonfarm jobs.
  • President Obama promised an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent by this time.
  • The Department of Labor revised total nonfarm jobs for August and September up 84,000. The August numbers were revised up from +142,000 to +192,000. The September numbers were revised up from +114,000 to +148,000.

Weeks, Hours & Wages

  • The number of Americans searching for work for more than 27 weeks is 5 million, an increase of 200,000 from September. The average number of weeks a worker is unemployed is 40.2 weeks -- double from when President Obama took office.
  • The average workweek for private nonfarm employees is 34.4 hours.

The average hourly private nonfarm payroll decreased by 1 cent to $23.58. Year over year hourly earnings have risen just 1.6 percent.

Issue Tag: Economy