Job Growth Shows Strong Rebound in October

November 5, 2021

The U.S. economy created 531,000 jobs in October. This is a welcome sign that the economic recovery has regained some of its footing after the Delta variant, but the economy is still being restrained by a diminished workforce.

October’s gains were the strongest in three months, driven by strong hiring in the leisure and hospitality industry, factories, and professional services. The previous two months’ anemic numbers also saw a big revision, climbing by 235,000 between the months.

Amid increased hiring, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in October from 4.8% in September and has dropped by more than half a percentage point in the past two months. While encouraging, the low unemployment rate has more to do with labor participation than job creation.

In October, the labor force added just 104,000 people, leaving the labor participation rate at 61.6%, the lowest level since the 1970s. The U.S. workforce still has about 4.2 million fewer workers than before the pandemic began, and economists are increasingly concerned that it may take years before the workforce returns to its pre-pandemic size.

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