The October 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current U.S. Employment Situation?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the U.S. employment situation, and the data for October shows solid growth. In this month's report, the BLS also adjusted September and August’s numbers for the better. The labor department jobs report examines a range of U.S. jobs data to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.


The October jobs report shows a welcome improvement in the labor market, beating expectations. The unemployment rate declined .2 percentage points to 4.6%, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 531,000. The number of unemployed people decreased to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September but still up from 5.8 million in February 2020 before the pandemic.



Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:

  • The report revised the September and August jobs reports. August's numbers rose 117,000, from 366,000 to 483,000 jobs, and September's report rose by 118,000, from 194,000 to 312,000 jobs.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by .4% in October to $30.96, increasing average hourly wages over the last 12 months by 4.9%.
  • In October, 11.6 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 13.2 percent in September.


October brought job gains for most sectors, with the highest gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Education continued to fall, but at a much lower rate than September. Here’s how industries were impacted in October:



Overall, the labor department’s October report and its August and September adjustments show a positive trend for the economy. However, there is still much ground to recover before we’re back to pre-pandemic levels.

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by: Doug Atkinson
November 05, 2021