The U.S. added 531,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 4.6 percent as the country began to shake off a COVID-19 surge in the summer, data shows released Friday by the Department of Labor.
The October jobs report showed the labor market rebounding after the July outbreak of the delta coronavirus variant, beating economists’ expectations. Analysts projected that the United States would gain roughly 450,000 last month and the unemployment rate to drop to 4.7 percent.
Policy makers and economists expected job growth in October to accelerate after falling well below expectations in July and August. The start of the delta rise towards mid-summer derailed a labor market that added more than 1 million workers in June, but increased optimism for higher labor earnings in October as cases began to fall in September.
“This is the kind of recovery we can get when we are not sidelined by an increase in COVID cases. If this is the kind of job growth we will see in the coming months, we are on a solid path. The public health situation needs be in control so that the US labor market has a sustained economic recovery, “wrote Nick Bunker, Indeed’s director of economic research, in an analysis Friday.
Wages were also up 4.9 percent on the year from last October, and median hourly earnings rose 11 cents to $ 30.96.
The United States added jobs across the economy, and the leisure and hospitality sector, which was hit hard, led the pack with 164,000 new workers. Professional and business services added 100,000 jobs, manufacturing gained 60,000 jobs, and transportation and warehousing added 54,000 jobs.
The rise in manufacturing was particularly notable after months of meager profits as the industry faced serious problems and shortages in the supply chain. The auto industry added 28,000 jobs, a welcome sign after plants laid off thousands of workers amid semiconductor shortages.
Public education was the only sector to lose jobs in October, but federal officials and economists warned that the pandemic has made school hiring patterns highly unpredictable and volatile.
“Labor reports are seldom that clear. Usually there are a lot of cross currents. Not in this report. The economic recovery is rapidly picking up speed as the economic headwind created by the delta wave of the pandemic wears off.” said Mark Zandi. Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, On twitter.
Labor force participation was largely unchanged at 61.6 percent last month, still 1.7 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level. Still, the number of people unable to work because COVID-19 limited their employment fell from 5 million last month, and the number of people prevented from seeking work due to the pandemic fell by 300,000 to 1, 3 millions.
“The only slight disappointment in the report was that labor force participation remained stable,” Zandi tweeted.
“We need more people to return to work,” he continued. “It didn’t happen in October. I hope it happens in the next few months.”
The report also included substantial revisions to mediocre earnings in August and September, adding 117,000 jobs to August earnings of 366,000 and 118,000 jobs to September earnings of 194,000. The reviews added a total of 225,000 jobs in two months.
The release of the October employment report comes at a crucial time for President BidenJoe BidenHouse sets Friday’s voting for Biden’s agenda. House leaders make a last-minute change to drug prices after the dispute aide who traveled with Biden to Europe tests positive for COVID-19: inform MORE and Democrats, who are trying to cement the main pillars of their economic agenda in the House before Thanksgiving. The president and his party are trying to regain popular support after Republican candidates beat expectations in Tuesday’s US elections.
The delta-driven slowdown in job growth and rising inflation have created tough political hurdles for Biden. Republicans have tried to attribute the economic hurdles to Biden and the Democratic agenda, as rising inflation also stoked concerns among some moderate Democrats.
“With the return to school in session and the expiration of improved unemployment benefits, the 531,000 jobs added this month are a welcome improvement over last month, but our labor market is still operating well below its potential, “said Sen. Mike leeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeJoe Manchin and the exodus of workers Economic growth rate slows to 2 percent as delta derails recovery TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance itself from Facebook MORE (R-Utah), Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.
“New mandates, higher taxes and more spending are not the answer,” Lee continued.
Biden administration officials, Democratic lawmakers and some economists respond that both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the broader climate and social services package would boost the economy’s productive potential. They have also pointed to a series of tax increases for the wealthy and corporations that are expected to cover the cost of the measures, limiting their impact on inflation and the national debt.
House Democratic leaders are pushing to vote on both laws on Friday, though it could be several weeks before they hit Biden’s desk. While the bipartisan infrastructure bill has already passed the Senate, House progressives have insisted on passing Biden’s entire agenda together as moderate senators pushed for significant cuts.
“Despite supply chain problems, a growing trade deficit and a lack of action on Capitol Hill on much-needed investment, manufacturing continues to grow,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
“We are committed to keeping our legislators focused on making these new investments in American manufacturing and shaping a worker-centered trade policy.
Updated at 9:35 am