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U.S. National Unemployment Rate
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                    THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION:  SEPTEMBER 2006
  
   Nonfarm payroll employment held steady (+51,000), and the unemployment rate
(4.6 percent) was essentially unchanged in September, the Bureau of Labor Sta-
tistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  Job growth continued
in health care and financial activities, while employment declined in manufac-
turing.  Employment was little changed in other major industry sectors.
  
Unemployment (Household Survey Data)
  
   The number of unemployed persons (6.9 million) and the unemployment rate
(4.6 percent) were essentially unchanged in September.  Thus far in 2006, the
jobless rate has ranged from 4.6 to 4.8 percent.
  
   Over the month, the unemployment rates for most major worker groups--adult
women (4.2 percent), teenagers (16.4 percent), whites (4.0 percent), blacks
(9.2 percent), and Hispanics (5.4 percent)--showed little or no change.  The
jobless rate for adult men (3.8 percent) declined in September.  The unemploy-
ment rate for Asians was 2.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.  (See tables
A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
 
Total Employment and the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)
  
   Total employment, at 144.9 million, was essentially unchanged in September.
Over the month, both the employment-population ratio (63.1 percent) and the
labor force participation rate (66.2 percent) held steady.  Over the year, the
employment-population ratio was up slightly, and the labor force participation
rate was unchanged.  (See table A-1.)

Persons Not in the Labor Force (Household Survey Data)
  
   About 1.3 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached
to the labor force in September, down from 1.4 million a year earlier.  These
individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months.  They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.  Among the marginally
attached, there were 325,000 discouraged workers in September, about unchanged
from a year earlier.  Discouraged workers were not currently looking for work
specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them.  The other
975,000 marginally attached had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding
the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-13.)

                                  - 2 -

Table A.  Major indicators of labor market activity, seasonally adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
_________________________________________________________________________________
                        |    Quarterly     |                            |
                        |    averages      |       Monthly data         |
                        |__________________|____________________________| August-
        Category        |       2006       |            2006            |September
                        |__________________|____________________________| change
                        |   II   |   III   |   July  |  Aug.  |  Sept.  |       
                        |________|_________|_________|________|_________|________
     HOUSEHOLD DATA     |                 Labor force status
                        |
                        |________________________________________________________
Civilian labor force....| 151,041|  151,677| 151,534|  151,698|  151,799|    101
  Employment............| 144,009|  144,586| 144,329|  144,579|  144,850|    271
  Unemployment..........|   7,032|    7,091|   7,205|    7,119|    6,949|   -170
Not in labor force......|  77,392|   77,490|  77,379|   77,469|   77,621|    152
                        |        |         |        |         |         |
                        |________|_________|________|_________|_________|________
                        |                 Unemployment rates
                        |
                        |________________________________________________________
All workers.............|     4.7|      4.7|     4.8|      4.7|      4.6|   -0.1
  Adult men.............|     4.1|      4.0|     4.2|      4.1|      3.8|    -.3
  Adult women...........|     4.2|      4.2|     4.2|      4.1|      4.2|     .1
  Teenagers.............|    14.7|     16.1|    15.5|     16.2|     16.4|     .2
  White.................|     4.1|      4.1|     4.1|      4.1|      4.0|    -.1
  Black or African      |        |         |        |         |         |
    American............|     9.1|      9.2|     9.5|      8.8|      9.2|     .4
  Hispanic or Latino    |        |         |        |         |         |
    ethnicity...........|     5.2|      5.3|     5.3|      5.3|      5.4|     .1
                        |________|_________|________|_________|_________|_______
  ESTABLISHMENT DATA    |                     Employment
                        |_______________________________________________________
Nonfarm employment......| 135,128|p 135,516| 135,374|p 135,562|p 135,613|   p 51
  Goods-producing (1)...|  22,420| p 22,428|  22,420| p 22,438| p 22,427|  p -11
    Construction........|   7,502|  p 7,522|   7,504|  p 7,527|  p 7,535|    p 8
    Manufacturing.......|  14,246| p 14,225|  14,236| p 14,229| p 14,210|  p -19
  Service-providing (1).| 112,708|p 113,088| 112,954|p 113,124|p 113,186|   p 62
    Retail trade (2)....|  15,236| p 15,209|  15,222| p 15,209| p 15,197|  p -12
    Professional and    |        |         |        |         |         |
      business services.|  17,269| p 17,393|  17,364| p 17,401| p 17,413|   p 12
    Education and health|        |         |        |         |         |
      services..........|  17,677| p 17,785|  17,735| p 17,802| p 17,817|   p 15
    Leisure and         |        |         |        |         |         |
      hospitality.......|  13,009| p 13,079|  13,062| p 13,082| p 13,092|   p 10
    Government..........|  21,931| p 21,985|  21,970| p 21,996| p 21,988|   p -8
                        |________|______ __|________|_________|_________|_______
                        |                  Hours of work (3)
                        |_______________________________________________________
Total private...........|    33.9|   p 33.8|    33.9|   p 33.8|   p 33.8|  p 0.0
  Manufacturing.........|    41.2|   p 41.3|    41.4|   p 41.3|   p 41.1|  p -.2
    Overtime............|     4.6|    p 4.4|     4.5|    p 4.4|    p 4.3|  p -.1
                        |        |         |        |         |         |
                        |________|_________|________|_________|_________|________
                        |    Indexes of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)
                        |
                        |________________________________________________________
Total private...........|   104.9|  p 105.1|   105.2|  p 105.1|  p 105.0|  p-0.1
                        |________|_________|________|_________|_________|_______
                        |                       Earnings (3)
                        |
                        |________________________________________________________
Avg. hourly earnings,   |        |         |        |         |         |
  total private.........|  $16.64| p $16.80|  $16.76| p $16.80| p $16.84|p $0.04
Avg. weekly earnings,   |        |         |        |         |         |
  total private.........|  563.54| p 568.40|  568.16| p 567.84| p 569.19| p 1.35
________________________|________|_________|________|_________|_________|________

   1  Includes other industries, not shown separately.
   2  Quarterly averages and the over-the-month change are calculated using
unrounded data.
   3  Data relate to private production or nonsupervisory workers.
   p = preliminary.

                                  - 3 -

Table B.  Employment status in September 2006 of persons 16 years and over
who evacuated from their August 2005 residence, even temporarily, due to
Hurricane Katrina (1)

(Numbers in thousands, not seasonally adjusted)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     |       |Residence in September 2006
                                     |       |---------------------------
Employment status in September 2006 | Total |    Same     |  Different
                                     |       |    as in    |   than in
                                     |       | August 2005 | August 2005
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Civilian noninstitutional population.| 1,145 |     669     |      476
  Civilian labor force...............|   633 |     398     |      235
        Participation rate...........|  55.3 |    59.5     |     49.4
     Employed........................|   580 |     379     |      201
        Employment-population ratio..|  50.7 |    56.7     |     42.2
     Unemployed......................|    53 |      19     |       34
        Unemployment rate............|   8.3 |     4.7     |     14.5
  Not in labor force.................|   512 |     271     |      241
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   1  Represents persons in the civilian noninstitutional population
age 16 and over who resided in households that were eligible to be
selected for the Current Population Survey (CPS).  These data are not
representative of the total evacuee population because they do not in-
clude children or people residing in shelters, hotels, places of worship,
or other units outside the scope of the CPS.  The total number of evac-
uees estimated from the CPS may change from month to month as people
move in and out of the scope of the survey and because of sampling and
nonsampling error.
   NOTE:  These data use population controls that have been adjusted to
account for interstate moves by evacuees.


   Employment Status of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees (Household Survey Data)
  
   Beginning in October 2005, questions were added to the household survey
to identify persons who evacuated from their homes, even temporarily, due to
Hurricane Katrina.  Data collected through these questions do not account for
all evacuees; persons living outside the scope of the survey--such as those
living in hotels or shelters--are not included.  The questions were asked of
persons in the household survey sample throughout the country, since some
evacuees relocated far from the storm-affected areas.  An additional question
determined whether evacuees had returned to their homes and were residing there
at the time of the September 2006 survey.  The total number of evacuees esti-
mated from the household survey may change from month to month as people move
in and out of the scope of the survey; also, because the estimates are obtained
from a sample survey, they may vary from month to month due to sampling and
nonsampling error.
  
   Information gathered in September represented 1.1 million persons age 16
and over who had evacuated from where they were living in August 2005 due to
Hurricane Katrina.  These evacuees either had moved back to their homes or were
living in other residential units covered in the survey.  About 6 in 10 of the
evacuees were living in their August 2005 residences.  Of all evacuees identi-
fied, 55.3 percent were in the labor force in September 2006.  The unemployment
rate for persons identified as evacuees was 8.3 percent.  The rate was much
higher for evacuees who were not living in their former homes (14.5 percent)
than for those who were again living in their pre-Katrina residences (4.7 per-
cent).  (See table B.)

                                  - 4 -

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)

   Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (+51,000) in September
at 135.6 million.  This followed job gains of 123,000 in July and 188,000 in
August (as revised).  Over the month, employment rose in health care and finan-
cial activities and declined in manufacturing.  (See table B-1.)
  
   Health care employment continued to grow, with a gain of 24,000 in September.
Within the industry, ambulatory health care services (which includes doctors'
offices and home health care) and hospitals added jobs.  Since December, health
care employment has increased by 231,000.
  
   Financial activities gained 16,000 jobs in September, as employment continued
to trend up in credit intermediation and insurance.  The over-the-month gain was
about in line with the industry's average monthly gain during the past year.
Real estate employment was flat over the month and has shown no net change since
April.
  
   Within professional and business services, accounting and bookkeeping services
added 10,000 jobs in September, and employment in the management of companies and
enterprises grew by 6,000.  Temporary help services employment was little changed
over the month and has been relatively flat thus far in 2006.  Professional and
business services employment has risen by 416,000 over the past 12 months.
  
   Elsewhere in the service-providing sector, employment in food services and
drinking places edged up in September (+15,000).  Over the month, employment
continued to trend up in the durable goods component of wholesale trade.  Within
the retail trade industry, sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores lost
8,000 jobs, as did general merchandise stores.  Since its most recent peak in
August 2005, retail trade employment has declined by 116,000.
  
   In the goods-producing sector, employment in mining was flat in September.
Reflecting the continued slowdown in the housing market, employment in con-
struction was little changed over the month.  Job losses in residential spe-
cialty trade contracting nearly offset gains in nonresidential specialty trade
contracting and in heavy construction.  Job gains in construction have averaged
6,000 per month since February of this year compared to increases of 27,000 per
month during the 12-month period ending in February.
  
   Manufacturing lost 19,000 jobs in September.  Within durable goods, factory
job losses occurred in several industries that are related to home building--
wood products, nonmetallic mineral products, and furniture.  Employment con-
tinued to trend downward in a number of nondurable goods manufacturing indus-
tries, including textile mills, plastics, and paper products.
  
Weekly Hours (Establishment Survey Data)
  
   The average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers on private
nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours in September, seasonally adjusted.
The manufacturing workweek decreased by 0.2 hour to 41.1 hours, and factory
overtime was down by 0.1 hour to 4.3 hours.  (See table B-2.)
  
   The index of aggregate weekly hours of production or nonsupervisory
workers on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.1 percent in September to
105.0 (2002=100).  The manufacturing index fell by 0.7 percent to 96.0.  (See
table B-5.)
  
Hourly and Weekly Earnings (Establishment Survey Data)
  
   Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on pri-
vate nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, in September to $16.84,
seasonally adjusted.  Average weekly earnings increased by 0.2 percent in
September to $569.19.  Over the year, both average hourly and weekly earnings
increased by 4.0 percent.  (See table B-3.)


                         ______________________________


   The Employment Situation for October is scheduled to be released on Friday,
November 3, at 8:30 A.M. (EST).