Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 638,000 in October, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.9 percent.
These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In October, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. Employment in government declined.
In October, the unemployment rate declined by 1.0 percentage point to 6.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 1.5 million to 11.1 million. Both measures have declined for 6 consecutive months but are nearly twice their February levels.
Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 1.4 million to 3.2 million. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.1 million in April but is 2.4 million higher than in February. The number of permanent job losers, at 3.7 million in October, changed little over the month but is 2.4 million higher than in February.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR STAFFING?
The candidate driven market will continue to prove competitive for employers nationwide, as November’s BLS figures show professional talent finding new work last month more so that the previous 10 months. While organizations may be waiting until Q1 to hire, making a strategic decision to hire talent in Q4 of this year could be in their favor. While professional staffing talent will be sought after as companies pick back up in 2021, the top talent will be picked over in the coming months. Now is the time to assess your current team structure and start assessing gaps in talent and skills you may have.