The U.S. economy added just 80,000 jobs in October and the nation’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 9 percent, down from September’s 9.1 percent, according to the latest figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nation’s economy needs 130,00-150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with the influx of new workers.
The report comes a day after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work rebuilding the nation’s crumbling highways, bridges and roads and just a few weeks after they killed legislation that would have put 400,000 teachers and first responders back to work or allowed them to stayon the job.
Jobs for state and local public employees contunue to fall with 24,000 losing their jobs last month.
Some 14 million workers remain unemployed, but a total of some 26 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have stopped looking for work. The number of long-term jobless (more than 27 weeks) was 5.9 million or 42.4 percent of the total jobless.
Yesterday, legislation was introduced to reauthorize federal unemployment insurance programs for 2012. Nearly two million out-of-work Americans will be cut off from federal unemployment insurance in January alone, unless Congress renews the programs before they expire on December 31, according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP). More than six million U.S. workers could face premature cut-off over the course of 2012.
Click here for the full BLS report.
This blog post originally appeared in AFL-CIO Now Blog on November 4, 2011. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Mike Hall is a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journal and managing editor of the Seafarers Log. He came to the AFL-CIO in 1989 and has written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety. He carried union cards from the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, American Flint Glass Workers and Teamsters for jobs in a chemical plant, a mining equipment manufacturing plant and a warehouse. He’s also worked as roadie for a small-time country-rock band, sold blood plasma, and played an occasional game of poker to help pay the rent. You may have seen him at one of several hundred Grateful Dead shows. He was the one with longhair and the tie-dye. Still has the shirts, lost the hair.