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October 07, 2005
Payroll Employment Dips Slightly after Katrina

Payroll employment fell by 35,000 in September, and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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The BLS says measures of employment and unemployment reported reflect both the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in late August, and ongoing labor market trends.

The bureau says Hurricane Katrina caused job losses in September among many industries in the affected areas. At the national level, these storm-related losses may have been offset or exacerbated in some industries by developments in the rest of the country.

In September, the number of persons unemployed due to job loss rose by 234,000 to 3.7 million. The number of newly unemployed--those who were unemployed less than 5 weeks--grew by 193,000 to 2.7 million.

Meanwhile, the average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers was unchanged at 33.7 hours in September. The manufacturing workweek remained at 40.5 hours, and factory overtime was down by 0.1 hour to 4.4 hours.

Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on rose by 3 cents in September to $16.18. Average weekly earnings increased by 0.2 percent over the month to $545.27.

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