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Daily Spotlight: Jobs Growth Picked Up in October

As we expected, the U.S. economy improved in October and the number of new jobs created came in at 531,000. That’s above the September total of 312,000, as the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases continues to ease. In other positive news, the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent to 4.6%; the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up by 117,000 to 483,000; and September’s total was increased by 118,000. The number of unemployed persons was down to 7.4 million in October — still about 30% higher than the level prior to the pandemic. Nonfarm employment has increased by 18.2 million since a recent trough in April 2020 but is down by 4.2 million, or 3%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. In October, job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, manufacturing, construction, and retail. Looking ahead, we expect to see hiring remain strong due to the declining number of COVID-19 cases (the seven-day average is now 71k compared to 150k two months ago) as we head into the holiday season.

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