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Employment changes by industry in October 2009

November 09, 2009

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 190,000 in October. For the most recent 3 months, job losses averaged 188,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 357,000 during the prior 3 months. In contrast, losses averaged 645,000 per month from November 2008 to April 2009. Among major industries, the largest over-the-month job losses were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.

1-month change in payroll employment by industry, September–October 2009
[Chart data]

Within construction, employment decreased by 62,000 in October. Monthly job losses averaged 67,000 during the most recent 6 months, compared with an average decline of 117,000 during the prior 6 months. Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million.

Manufacturing employment fell by 61,000 in October, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods production. Over the past 4 months, job losses in manufacturing averaged 51,000 per month, compared with an average monthly loss of 161,000 from October 2008 through June 2009. Manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million since December 2007.

Retail trade lost 40,000 jobs in October. Employment declines were concentrated in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-16,000) and in department stores (-11,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 18,000 in October.

Health care employment continued to increase in October (29,000). Since the start of the recession, health care has added 597,000 jobs.

Temporary help services has added 44,000 jobs since July, including 34,000 in October. From January 2008 through July 2009, temporary help services had lost an average of 44,000 jobs per month.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation – October 2009," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-09-1331.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment changes by industry in October 2009 at (visited April 16, 2024).

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