Payroll Employment Rose by 150,000 in October; Unemployment Rate was Little Changed at 3.8 Percent
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 6.5 million, changed little in October. However, since their recent lows in April, these measures are up by 0.5 percentage point and 849,000, respectively.
The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.4 million, little different from the prior month. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job.
Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force changed little at 1.4 million in October. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, also changed little over the month at 416,000.
- Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 150,000 in October, below the average monthly gain of 258,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job gains occurred in health care, government, and social assistance. Employment in manufacturing declined due to strike activity.
- Health care added 58,000 jobs in October, in line with the average monthly gain of 53,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment continued to trend up in ambulatory health care services (+32,000), hospitals (+18,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000).
- Social assistance added 19,000 jobs in October, compared with the average monthly gain of 23,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, employment continued to trend up in individual and family services (+14,000).
- In October, employment in transportation and warehousing was little changed (-12,000) and has shown little net change over the year. Over the month, warehousing and storage lost 11,000 jobs, while air transportation added 4,000 jobs.
- Information employment changed little in October (-9,000). Employment in motion picture and sound recording continued to trend down (-5,000); the industry has lost 44,000 jobs since May, at least partially reflecting the impact of an ongoing labor dispute.
- Employment in government increased by 51,000 in October and has returned to its pre-pandemic February 2020 level. Monthly job growth in government had averaged 50,000 in the prior 12 months. In October, employment continued to trend up in local government (+38,000).
- In October, employment in leisure and hospitality changed little (+19,000). The industry had added an average of 52,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.
- Employment in professional and business services was little changed in October (+15,000) and has shown little net change since May. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month (+7,000) but is 229,000 below its peak in March 2022.
- Over the month, employment showed little change in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; wholesale trade; retail trade; financial activities; and other services.