In October, 171, 000 jobs were added in the U.S., and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report, the final one before the presidential election. This is the 25th straight month of jobs gains in the U.S.
More highlights from the report:
- The number of discouraged workers — people not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them — declined by 154,000 from a year earlier to 813,000.
- Employment increased in professional and business services (+51,000), health care (+31,000) and retail (+36,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality and construction also increased, with 28,000 and 17,000 jobs added, respectively.
- The labor force participation rate edged up slightly to 63.8 percent from 63.6 in September. The labor force participation rate indicates the number of Americans actively seeking jobs. It’s a good sign that this number continues to increase — it means that more people are returning to the workforce.
- The number of people employed part time for economic reasons — job seekers who are working part time because they weren’t able to find a full-time job or their hours were cut back — fell by 269,000 to 8.3 million in October.
- Job gains were even bigger in the previous months than first reported. September’s number was adjusted from 114,000 to 148,000, while August’s number was revised from 142,000 to 192,000.
While the unemployment rate rose slightly, one factor is because more people returned to the workforce, showing increased confidence that jobs are available. And the ongoing addition of jobs each month is a sign that the economy is moving in the right direction.