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November 07, 2003
Unemployment Rate Fell to 6 Percent in October
The unemployment rate dropped to 6.0 percent in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

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Payroll employment rose by 126,000 in October, following a similar increase (as revised) in September. Job gains occurred in several service industries in October. Manufacturing employment continued to decline, but the rate of job loss has moderated in recent months.

The number of unemployed persons, 8.8 million, was essentially unchanged in October.

In October, 2.0 million unemployed persons had been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer, about the same level as in September. They represented 23.0 percent of the total unemployed.

In October, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 170,000 more than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available to work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed, however, because they did not actively search for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Of the 1.6 million, 462,000 were discouraged workers--persons who were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them. The number of discouraged workers was up by 103,000 from October 2002.

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