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October 03, 2003
Unemployment Steady, Employers Add 57,000 Jobs
Employers added 57,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate remained at 6.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

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Reuters reports that it was the first increase in jobs since January.

The number of jobs in manufacturing declined at a slower pace than in recent months, while employment in temporary help services continued to trend upward.

In September, there were 2.1 million unemployed persons who had been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer, representing 23.2 percent of the total unemployed. Since November 2001, the proportion of long-term unemployed has increased by about 9 percentage points.

The number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons rose in September to 5.0 million.

In September, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as 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 1.5 million, 388,000 were discouraged workers--persons who were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 29,000 in September.

Professional and business services added 66,000 jobs in September--half of the gain occurred in temporary help services. Since April, temporary help has added 147,000 jobs.

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