Recent economic gains in consumer spending were shadowed with the news that unemployment hit 10.2 percent nationally. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the number of jobless persons increased in October by 558,000 individuals to, marking a 0.4 percent increase from 9.8 percent in September. Currently, 15.7 million Americans are unemployed.
The total of long-term unemployed persons--those out of work for at least 27 weeks--showed little change (35.6 percent), increasing to 5.6 million from 5.4 million the previous month.
Losses were felt the greatest among the adult men (10.7 percent) and white (9.5 percent) demographics. Unemployment among women (8.1 percent), Hispanics (13.1 percent), blacks (15.7 percent) and teenagers (27.6 percent) remained steady from September levels.
In terms of industry, construction (down 67,000), manufacturing (down 61,000) and retail (down 40,000) sectors saw the greatest job losses, while job increases were seen in healthcare (up 29,000) and temporary help services (up 34,000).
According to Peter Zaleski, professor of economics at the Villanova School of Business, believes that hiring will return, but only after real economic recovery is seen. "The jobs will follow as firms have faith in the permanent jump in demand," he said. "How long before this occurs? It’s hard to say, but it will happen when consumer confidence returns, people begin to spend again, and firms have confidence that it's not just a blip."