Job growth surpasses expectations in October

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Published Friday, November 5, 2021
by Casey Harper | The Center Square

(The Center Square) - Newly released federal data showed significant job growth for the month of October, a refreshing sign for economist after months of lagging job reports.

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly jobs report Friday showing that in the month of October, payroll employment rose by 531,000, putting job creation above experts' predictions.

"Job growth was widespread, with notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in public education declined over the month," BLS said.

Unemployment fell to 4.6%, and the number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, according to the federal data.

"Both measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession," BLS said. "However, they remain above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020)."

Many of those who have been out of work for months finally returned to work.

"Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers, at 2.1 million, changed little in October but is 828,000 higher than in February 2020," BLS said. "The number of persons on temporary layoff, at 1.1 million, was little changed over the month. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April 2020 but is 306,000 above the February 2020 level. In October, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) decreased by 357,000 to 2.3 million but is 1.2 million higher than in February 2020. The long-term unemployed accounted for 31.6 percent of the total unemployed in October."

The federal economic data showed the job changes varied across different groups.

"Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (4.3 percent) declined in October," BLS said. "The jobless rates for adult women (4.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (4.0 percent), Blacks (7.9 percent), Asians (4.2 percent), and Hispanics (5.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month."

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