U.S. added 261000 jobs in October, as labor market softens slightly – The Washington Post

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Jobs

Comment on this storyCommentGift ArticleThe labor market is gradually softening, but it remains hotter than economists had predicted after the Federal Reserve’s months-long campaign to control inflation.Employers added 261,000 jobs in October, according to a new government report out Friday — down from 315,000 jobs added in September. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.7 percent, the Labor Department announced in its monthly jobs report. The rate was 3.5 percent in September. The job gains beat economists’ expectations of around 205,000.By late morning, major U.S. stock indexes were all trending up after the news came out.“This report confirms what we’ve been seeing — that the labor market remains strong because the U.S. consumer remains resilient,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “If demand for companies’ goods and service remains strong, they will keep hiring. This remains the best job seekers’ market of all time.”AdvertisementThe jobs report arrives just days before from midterm elections where Republicans are increasingly favored to win control of Congress. The state of the economy, with inflation at 40-year highs, has played a central role in campaign messaging from the GOP.President Biden praised the report in a statement, saying it showed “our jobs recovery remains strong,” and called out Republicans for backing policies he said would fuel inflation: “As long as I’m president, I’m not going to accept an argument that the problem is that too many Americans are finding good jobs.”The labor market remains a pillar of strength for the overall economy, and it’s been stubbornly resilient even in the fact of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. The central bank announced its sixth interest rate increase of the year Wednesday despite a growing consensus among economists that a recession is likely to hit next year.Advertisement“The message that the Fed will take away from this is that labor market is still mostly unaffected by the Fed’s tightening,” said Cailin Birch, the lead U.S. analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Job creation is slowing, and we still expect a recession, but signs of a heavy impact aren’t appearing yet.”Job gains were widespread across a variety of industries. Health care saw the largest gains with 53,000 jobs added, with notable increases in ambulatory health-care service, nursing facilities and hospitals. Professional and technical services added 43,000 jobs, with notable growth in management and technical consulting service, architectural and engineering services and scientific research and development. Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs, mainly in durable goods industries. Employment in leisure and hospitality also continued to grow, with 35,000 jobs added, but the sector remains 1.1 million jobs below its pre-pandemic levels.Industries most sensitive to the Fed’s interest rate hikes, such as real estate and construction, have cooled off some. The construction industry showed little change from September, while real estate and rentals and leasing saw a 8.7 percent decline in job growth.AdvertisementOther parts of the economy have slowed already in response to the Federal Reserve’s rate increases. Consumer spending on goods and real estate has fallen. Mortgage rates, at above 7 percent, have more than doubled this year.Fed hikes interest rates again, up 0.75 percentage points“The combination of slower manufacturing, the housing market running into a brick wall and consumers being more cautious is contributing to a slowdown in labor demand,” said Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank, a large commercial bank in Texas.The labor force participation rate ticked down slightly to 62.2 percent, an indicator that economists had hoped to see rise. It remains 1.2 percent lower than its February 2020 level. Economists attribute the decline in part to the aging population of boomers who are retiring and to elevated consumer demand that has pushed employers to rapidly create jobs.Advertisement“The weakening lab …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This