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Large drop in payroll employment in October

November 06, 2001

Nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 415,000 in October, by far the largest of three consecutive monthly declines.

Over-the-month change in nonfarm payroll employment, in thousands, Jan.-Oct. 2001 (seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

The October decline in payroll employment was the biggest employment decrease since May 1980 and followed a decline of 213,000 in September. Since the recent employment peak in March, overall job losses have totaled 887,000; losses in the private sector have totaled 1.2 million. In October, employment was down in nearly every major industry.

The labor market data for the month of October are the first to reflect broadly the impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11. The labor market had been weakening before the attacks, and those events clearly exacerbated this weakness. It is not possible, however, to quantify the job-market effects of the terrorist attacks.

These data are a product of the BLS Current Employment StatisticsProgram. The above figures are seasonally adjusted. Find out more in "The Employment Situation: October 2001," news release USDL 01-397.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Large drop in payroll employment in October at (visited July 21, 2024).

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