After September’s disappointing jobs report, the October jobs report offered some hope as employers added 531,000 jobs and unemployment fell from 4.8 percent in September to 4.6 percent. Job creation is roaring back, and nearly every industry demonstrated strong hiring in areas from restaurants to healthcare to retailers.
On Friday, the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report, showing that 531,000 jobs were added during the month of October. This was well above Wall Street’s expectations of 450,000. Although this is a relatively low unemployment number, it is still much higher than the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5 percent.
Julia Pollack, a chief economist for ZipRecruiter, said, “Hiring picked up in October as the delta surge waned, with the vast majority of industries contributing job gains, particularly leisure and hospitality. The report clearly points to a demand-driven recovery where rapid hiring is shrinking the ranks of unemployed workers.”
This is hopeful for many, as leisure and hospitality was one of the industries hardest hits by the coronavirus pandemic. This industry accounted for the biggest payroll gain in October as it saw an increase in 164,000 new employees. Although many restaurant and bar owners have made the news by having to shutter their businesses during the pandemic, this sector of the hospitality industry actually added 164,000 jobs alone. Hotels and other accommodation services saw an increase of 23,200 new employees. This is a sign that more Americans are beginning to venture out to travel, eat, and shop.
Experts show that the hospitality sector is seeing more and more jobs available. In 2021, employment in the hospitality industry grew by 2.4 million this year. However, it should be noted that today there are 1.4 fewer jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry than in February 2020 prior to the pandemic.
The professional and business sector also saw a significant increase in available jobs. Payroll in this industry saw increases by at least 100,000 per month. Other notable industries that saw gains are management and technical consulting added 13,600 jobs in October; scientific research and development saw a 5,700 available jobs increase, and computer systems design as well as related services gained 7,000 jobs.
LPL financial equity strategist Jeffrey Buchbinder stated, “This is the strong progress from the job market we wanted to see. Some of the pandemic-driven headwinds preventing people from taking open jobs have started to abate, and given strong demand, we expect to see even better numbers in the months ahead.”
The return to in-person learning also saw jobs gains in the education industry. 17,000 jobs were gained in the education sector. Healthcare saw an increase of about 37,200 jobs as well.
While the supply chain crisis has been blamed on a lack of workers in a number of industries, the October jobs report showed that manufacturers saw payroll increases of 60,000 during the month. Most of these jobs were in transportation equipment makers for a total of 23,700.
The Fed said earlier that this week inflation was here to stay. In fact, some say that rising wages are actually contributing to inflation. The latest GDP, which came out a few weeks ago, shows the economy is slowing. According to Mitch Rosell, a professor at the University of San Diego Business School, businesses having to pay more for workers is making the price of goods go up.
Americans are paying $1.30 more for gas. Whole milk is up by 3.2 percent, and beef, poultry, milk, and eggs is also up over five percent from this time just a year ago. Ironically, with the hospitality industry adding so many jobs, experts are expecting the cost of accommodations to rise as well.
Again, while the jobs report was much more positive than in September, it is important to look at the overall economic picture. Could we see a crash and a loss of jobs if the consumer stops partaking in going out or traveling? Some economists think so.