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November 04, 2005
Payrolls Grow Slightly

Payroll employment increased by 56,000 in October, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.0 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

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Employment fell by 8,000 jobs in September, due in part to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

In the first 8 months of the year, payroll employment had increased by an average of 196,000 per month. In October, construction, financial activities, and health care added jobs, while employment in most other major industries showed little movement.

Over the month, construction employment increased by 33,000, with much of the gain (20,000) occurring in residential specialty trade contracting.

Manufacturing added 12,000 jobs in October. Employment in transportation equipment increased by 22,000, largely due to the return of 18,000 striking workers in the aerospace industry.

Employment in financial activities continued to grow in October, rising by 22,000. Healthcare employment also continued to grow in October, increasing by 17,000.

Meanwhile, the average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers on private payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours in October, seasonally adjusted. The manufacturing workweek increased by 0.4 hour to 41.0 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 4.5 hours.

Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on private payrolls rose by 8 cents in October to $16.27, seasonally adjusted. Average weekly earnings increased by 0.5 percent over the month to $549.93. Over the year, both average hourly and weekly earnings increased by 2.9 percent.

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