Jobs recovery in the United States strengthened in the month of October, where 531,000 new jobs were created, decreasing the unemployment rate to 0.2 % at a national level and placing it at 4.6 %. October doubled the number of jobs created over September.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the main increase in jobs was in the leisure, tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as professional business services, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing.
Much of the increase in hiring is explained by the proximity to the holiday season. Amazon announced that it would hire up to 150,000 people for the holiday season, while Walmart, another retail giant, announced that it would hire another 150,000.
The number of unemployed people in the United States currently stands at 7.4 million. Unemployment affected the African-American population more persistently than the rest of the population, and continues to have the highest unemployment levels in the nation, with 7.4%. It is followed by Hispanics, who experience an unemployment rate of 5.9%, and which also experienced little change during October, according to the BLS.
For the white population, unemployment stood at 4 %, while for Asians it was 4.2 %. Unemployment among the teenage population stands at 11.9 percent. For adult males, unemployment averaged 4.3 percent, and 4.4 percent for females.
The number of people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks fell by 357,000 during October. At present, 2.3 million people are affected by long-term unemployment, 1.2 million more than in February 2020.
Among those outside the labor force, 1.3 million did not look for a job during the month of September because of the pandemic, about 300,000 fewer people than in the month of September.
Job Recovery strengthens, but millions remain outside the labor force
As the pandemic becomes a thing of the past, with it also goes the habits it created, such as telecommuting. According to the BLS, in October the number of people teleworking stood at 11% of the employed population, while this figure stood at 13.2% in September.
The BLS data show a recovery despite the emergence of the delta variant during the summer – which slowed the recovery of the labor market during the months – so that the jobs recovery fell short of the expected numbers by the government entities themselves.
The jobs recovery is also a good sign for the Federal Reserve, which has reported that it will continue its expansionary monetary policy until the U.S. returns to pre-pandemic unemployment levels.
Private sector wages continued to increase during October, with the value of the average hour increased by 0.4%, bringing the average wage growth to 4.9% in 2021 so far. The United States is experiencing the highest wages growth seen in decades. Average wage growth was 2.5% over the last 15 years prior to the pandemic.
An important fact to keep in mind is that while the number of people who got a job increased, the number of people who remain out of the labor force neither work nor are looking for a job.
According to the BLS data, there are nearly 6 million people who say they will look for a job someday, but are not currently looking for a job. Although this number has always been high, it is one million more people than in February 2020. The United States has experienced the largest outflow of people from the labor market since the crisis of 2008.