US employment rate fell to 4.6% last month, economy creates 531,000 jobs: report


Economists polled by Reuters predicted an increase in the wage bill of 450,000 jobs.

Employment in the United States rose more than expected in October as the headwinds of the surge in COVID-19 infections over the summer eased, offering more evidence that economic activity was picking up. momentum at the start of the fourth trimester.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 531,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report on Friday. Data for September has been revised up to show 312,000 created instead of the 194,000 previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters predicted an increase in the wage bill of 450,000 jobs. Estimates ranged from as few as 125,000 jobs to as high as 755,000. Worker shortages persisted, even as federally funded unemployment benefits ended in early September and schools reopened for the job. in-person learning.

Still, the report has teamed up with growing consumer confidence and activity in the service sector to paint a brighter picture for the economy, after the Delta variant of the coronavirus and goods shortages overall. the economy limited third-quarter growth to its slowest pace in more than a year. year.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.8% in September. While companies desperately want to hire, millions of people remain unemployed and out of the workforce.

This disconnection from the labor market has been blamed on the need for care during the pandemic, fears of contracting the coronavirus, early retirements, massive savings and career changes as well as an aging population and expanded unemployment benefits. recently completed. With many people leaving cities during the pandemic and not yet returning, there could also be a mismatch between open jobs and location.

There were 10.4 million unfilled jobs at the end of August. About five million people have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that “these barriers to labor supply are expected to decrease with further progress to contain the virus, supporting job and activity gains economic”.

The Fed has announced that it will begin this month to reduce the amount of money it injects into the economy through monthly bond purchases.

There are fears that the White House’s vaccination mandate, which goes into effect Jan.4 and applies to federal government contractors and businesses with 100 or more employees, may worsen the worker shortage.

There has also been an increase in strikes, with workers taking advantage of the tight labor market to demand more wages and better conditions. The departure of around 10,000 workers from Deere & Co had no impact on the October payroll as it began in the middle of the period in which the government polled households and businesses for the report. on employment.

The rush for workers continued to boost wage growth, which, combined with record savings, should help support consumer spending during the holiday session, despite wages falling below inflation and shortages of goods are numerous.