Unemployment Remains Low

128,000 New Jobs Created in October
Unemployment Remains Low 

JOB GROWTH: Following upward revisions for the past two months to 219,000 jobs in August and 180,000 in September, October growth was more moderate, with the economy adding 128,000 new jobs. The most recent three-month average gain is now at 176,000 jobs per month.

TOP INDUSTRIES: While growth in the professional and business services sector and healthcare continued to be positive, it was somewhat muted from previous months. Noteworthy job growth in October centered on food services, finance and social assistance. Manufacturing was negatively impacted by a strike in the automotive sector and government jobs trended down due to the completion
of project work relating to the census.

UNEMPLOYMENT: There was little movement in the unemployment rate, although it registered 3.6% compared to 3.5% the previous month.

WAGES: Wage growth moved up again in October, with average hourly earnings for the year reaching 3.0%.

WORK WEEK: The work week was unchanged in October, with average hours steady at 34.4.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary help sector added no new jobs in October, registering a loss of 8,100 jobs.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Many of the voices predicting a downturn in the economy were silenced after seeing the October jobs report, as growth of 128,000 jobs was far better than anticipated. While the unemployment rate ticked up slightly, it was due more to an overall increase in the size of the labor force, as more people returned to work. Consumer confidence remains strong and the economy continues to move forward, with the impetus of job growth leading the way. Employers continue to fill their ranks, recruiting among segments of the population largely ignored in recent years, as the skills gap strengthens. The latest figures from the BLS set the number of job openings at 7.1 million, with only 5.8 million people available to fill them.

Sources:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, USA Today, FOX Business, Staffing Industry Analysts, CNN, The New York Times