October jobs report rebounds


The jobs reports over the summer months showed the effects of a slowing economy in China, market jitters over the European Union bailout of Greece, and a volatile stock market in the U.S.

The October jobs report (which may partly be driven by seasonal hiring in the retail industry for the holidays) is a dramatic rebound. Steve Benen has the October jobs report. Job growth soars in the fall, unemployment drops:

For those rooting for the American job market, it was a discouraging summer. After a strong showing in May, new job totals fell steadily in June, July, and August, followed by another unexpectedly weak showing in September. Would the data bounce back in the fall?

As a matter of fact, yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, far better than the 181,000 expected by economists. The overall unemployment rate inched lower to 5.0%, which is the lowest it’s been since February 2008, nearly eight years ago.

This, coupled with improvement in wages, makes today’s jobs report the best of 2015.


In terms of revisions, August’s job totals were revised up, from 136,000 to 153,000, while September’s totals were also revised down slightly, from 142,000 to 137,000. Combined, that’s an additional 12,000 previously unreported jobs. Not bad.

Overall, the U.S. has added 2.8 million jobs over the last 12 months — 2.7 million in the private sector alone — which is quite good, and 2.06 million jobs this calendar year. October was the 61st consecutive month of positive job growth — the best stretch since 1939 — and the 68th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth, which is the longest on record.

Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.


Daily Kos adds:

The civilian workforce rose 216,000, after having fallen 350,000 in September. The employment-population ratio rose slightly to 59.3 percent, and the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.4 percent.

After a flat September, wages for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents an hour in October to $25.20. Wages for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 9 cents an hour to $21.18

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In addition to the official unemployment rate (which the BLS labels U3), another measure (known as U6) estimates both unemployment and underemployment. It includes people with no job at all, part-time workers who want a full-time job but can’t find one, and many “discouraged” workers. U6 fell in October 0.2 percent to 9.8 percent. The number of people officially unemployed remained unchanged at 7.9 million.

At least for now, many more people will have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.