It was worse than expected - and the expectations were pretty bad. A total of 240,000 jobs were cut in October and the revised losses in September total 240,000 - nearly twice as many as initially reported. The unemployment rate jumped to 6.5 percent, from 6.1 percent a month earlier. And only 61.8 percent of adults are working, the lowest level in 15 years (factor out students, stay-at-home moms and dads, etc.). From the NYT's Dave Leonhardt:
And even that, arguably, understates the depth of the problem. Fifteen years ago, women were less likely to be in the labor force than they today. The share of adult men with jobs, which has been gradually falling for much of the last few decades, is now at its lowest level since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1948.
Unemployment may only worsen by the time Obama takes office in January, making it easier for congressional Democrats to push through another economic stimulus package. Obama meets today with his transition economic advisers, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. He’ll also hold his first post-election press conference. "The U.S. economy is in a very deep recession," John Herrmann, president of Hermann Forecasting LLC in Summit, New Jersey, wrote in a note to clients after the release. "We look for a $500 billion fiscal stimulus from President-elect Obama."
State and local numbers are due out in a couple of weeks. L.A. County's unemployment rate for September was 7.8 percent.