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The October Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

Posted: November 01, 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly look at the US employment situation and the data for October looks positive. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

Before we get to the October’s jobs report, let’s revisit September’s US job numbers. Last month, the BLS reported that nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 136,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% (approximately 5.8 million professionals). A deeper look at the US jobs data and industries hiring in 2019 showed moderate growth in a few areas while others declined or registered no change at all.

  • Healthcare – 39,000 jobs added
  • Professional and business services – 34,000 jobs added
  • Federal government – 22,000 jobs added
  • Transportation and warehousing – 16,000 jobs added
  • Retail trade – 11,000 jobs lost
  • Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality – no change

The October jobs report showed total nonfarm payroll employment increasing by 128,000, unemployment rising very slightly to 3.6%, and the number of unemployed persons experiencing a small uptick to 5.9 million. Here are some other highlights of the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed remains at 1.3 million and accounts for 21.5 percent of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.3 percent.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) stayed the same at 4.4 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $28.18 after falling by 2 cents in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3 percent.

October saw promising growth for a few industries hiring in 2019. Food services and drinking places led the way with 48,000 jobs added in October. Social assistance added 20,000 jobs, professional and business services continued an upward trend with 22,000 new jobs, employment in financial activities increased by 16,000 jobs, and healthcare added 15,000 jobs in October. Manufacturing employment declined by 36,000 in October. Key industries like construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality saw no change.

Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests the economy is in good shape. Whether you’re looking for top talent or searching for your dream job, there’s still plenty of opportunity out there, and you can find it on iHire.

 

For more information on how the BLS tracks and updates US job numbers and calculates the unemployment rate, check out this informative post on FiveThirtyEight.

Posted by: Freddie Rohner
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