Job gains were up in October 2021 with the U.S. economy adding 531,000 jobs, according to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate edged down 0.2% from 4.8% in September to 4.6% in October. Last month also saw 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.
We continue to see a downward trend of unemployed people, at 7.4 million. Both measures are lower from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. However, they remain above their levels prior to the pandemic (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). Easing restrictions, vaccine effects and a decline in the special programs of employment packages during the pandemic could be a few factors affecting these numbers.
For college-degreed workers aged 25 and over, the unemployment rate edged down slightly from 2.5% in September to 2.4% in October. For those with some college or an associate degree, the unemployment rate also slightly decreased from 4.5% to 4.4%.
Key highlights from the latest BLS report:
- With 7.4 million currently unemployed, the unemployment rate is now at 4.6%, 0.2% lower than the month prior.
- The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6% in October and has stayed within the range of 61.4% to 61.7% since June 2020.
- The labor participation rate is 1.7% lower than in February 2020 and the employment-population ratio was little changed at 58.8%, over the month.
- For college-degreed workers aged 25 and over, the unemployment rate slid down slightly from 2.5% to 2.4%.
- For those with some college or an associate’s degree, the rate is 4.4%.
- Notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.
Jobs Added by Industry:
- Leisure and hospitality added 164,000 jobs
- Professional and Business Services added 100,000 jobs
- Manufacturing added 60,000 jobs
- Transportation and Warehousing added 54,000 jobs
- Construction added 44,000 jobs
- Healthcare added 37,000 jobs
- Retail trade added 35,000 jobs
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