October Job Growth Surges Above Forecasts

SHRM (11/04/22) Roy Maurer

U.S. employers added 261,000 new jobs in October, upending economists’ predictions of a much lower number, according to the latest employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data is evidence that one of the hottest labor markets on record is not consistently showing signs of cooling. However, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent and average hourly earnings fell 0.3 percentage points year-over-year to 4.7 percent as more job seekers entered the job market.

The labor market has been remarkably resilient amid measures to tame inflation. The monthly average of new jobs created prior to the pandemic was around 200,000.

The latest monthly report on job openings, quits and layoffs was another surprise to economists, who had predicted that the number of job vacancies in the United States would fall. But instead of dropping, job openings surged by more than 400,000 to 10.7 million. On the other hand, the increasing number of layoff announcements shows that employers are cautiously preparing for a recessionary period.

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