October 2018 Jobs Report: Employers Add 250,000 Jobs

By Robert Half November 2, 2018 at 7:39am

October delivered a stronger jobs report than most economists had expected, with employers adding 250,000 positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Since the start of 2018, the economy has grown by more than 2.1 million jobs.  

The following sectors created the most jobs in October:

  • Leisure and hospitality: 42,000 jobs added
  • Education and health services: 44,000 jobs added
  • Professional and business services: 35,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing: 32,000 jobs added
  • Construction: 30,000 jobs added

Unemployment rate holds steady

The unemployment rate in October remained at 3.7 percent, a 49-year low. 

The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older was also unchanged from September, at 2.0 percent. These workers are in highest demand by employers.

Other data from the BLS help to underscore the challenge that many employers face in this current environment, with historically low unemployment and a persistent lack of skilled talent available for hire. According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) there were 7.1 million job openings in the United States at the end of August — a record high. 

What employers need to know

If your company is pulling out all the stops — from competitive compensation to outstanding perks — and not making much headway with potential hires, you’ll may want to assess the quality of your organizational culture. If your firm’s work environment is unattractive, or simply unremarkable, it could be contributing to your hiring challenges. And if you have a great corporate culture, but you’re doing little or nothing to promote it externally, that could be hurting you, too. 

Organizational culture is a make-or-break factor in hiring (and retention). Robert Half research shows a professional’s fit — or lack thereof — with an employer’s workplace culture can strongly influence that person’s decision to work for the firm. 

So, take stock of what you’re doing to foster a positive work environment. Also, think of how to draw attention to your workplace culture, such as through social media or in job descriptions. 

What job seekers need to know

Can there really be too much of a good thing? That answer may be “yes” for highly skilled professionals who are currently pursuing new employment opportunities. 

It’s not unusual for in-demand candidates, especially in top markets, to find they have multiple job offers to consider. While that sounds like a good problem for a job seeker to have, the decision-making process can be agonizing if the opportunities are all compelling — especially from a compensation perspective.

But it’s essential for candidates to keep one key thing in focus when evaluating any job opportunity: fit with the organizational culture. Here’s why: It doesn’t matter what level of pay or what type of perks you receive if you don’t find the work environment appealing — or you discover too late that it’s downright toxic. 

So, be sure to do your homework on the company’s culture before applying for a job. During the hiring process, ask questions such as, “What do you like most about work here?” and “What attributes do I need to succeed at this company?” The answers you hear can help you determine if you would be a good match for the company and, most important, if the company would be a good match for you.

Let us help you find the right fit

An infographic summarizing the October 2018 jobs report and survey data from Robert Half

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