US Added 531,000 Jobs in October as American Economy Regains Momentum
19:46 GMT 05.11.2021 (Updated: 13:54 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Elaine ThompsonIn this Thursday, June 4, 2020 file photo, a customer walks out of a U.S. Post Office branch and under a banner advertising a job opening, in Seattle. The job market took a big step toward healing in May 2020, though plenty of damage remains, as a record level of hiring followed record layoffs in March and April. The Labor Department reported Tuesday, July 7, 2020 that the number of available jobs rose sharply as well, but remained far below pre-pandemic levels.
© AP Photo / Elaine Thompson
US employment increased more than expected in October as the surge in COVID-19 infections over the summer subsided and the expiration of extended unemployment benefits moved farther in the rearview mirror.
Employers added a solid 531,000 new workers, and the results were reflected last month after the unemployment rate dropped slightly from 4.8% to 4.6 %, the lowest since the pandemic hit, according to a report released on Friday by the United States Department of Labor.
Jobs numbers for August and September were also revised up to 312,000 from the prior reading of 194,000.
"The pace of hiring rebounded in October as COVID-19 restrictions eased and cases declined," said Jay Pestrichelli, CEO of ZEGA Financial according to Fox Business. "The labor market is not back to pre-COVID-19 levels, but it has staged an impressive comeback over the past 18 months."
After the $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits expired in September, more workers sought jobs giving the labor market a boost.
US President Joe Biden reportedly celebrated the better-than-expected report calling it "another great day for our economic recovery," during comments Friday at the White House on the jobs report.
While investors are cheering the report, some are concerned with the labor force participation being at the lowest levels since the early 1970s, remaining at 61.6%, 1.7 percentage points below its February 2020 level.
"What’s keeping so many people from coming back into the labor force now we’re seeing trends in Covid cases falling, and the advances of treatments and therapeutics? It’s a bit of a mystery," said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth.
Businesses are trying different strategies to get workers back — from raising wages to offering bonuses, but most of those gains have been offset by rising inflation in the US.