The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that U.S. employers expanded payrolls by 261,000 jobs in October, exceeding economists’ forecasts of about 205,000 jobs.

The agency also notes that employment gains in August and September combined were higher than previously reported — by 29,000 jobs. Since the start of 2022, about 3.3 million jobs have been added to the U.S. economy.

Healthcare and professional and business services helped drive job growth in October

In October, the education and health services sector led the way in job creation, with employers adding 79,000 jobs. Professional and business services also saw significant gains: Employers in this industry added 39,000 jobs, including 11,800 positions in temporary help services.

The latest jobs report from the BLS shows these industries experienced notable payroll expansion in October as well:

  • Leisure and hospitality: 35,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing: 32,000 jobs added
  • Government: 28,000 jobs added
  • Wholesale trade: 14,600 jobs added

Unemployment rate ticks up to 3.7%

The national unemployment rate increased to 3.7% in October. In September, the rate was 3.5%.

The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older — those most highly sought-after by employers — also edged up slightly last month to 1.9%. The rate was 1.8% in September.

Additional data from the BLS show many employers continue to struggle to staff open roles. At the end of September, there were 10.7 million job openings in the United States, up from 10.1 million in August. The agency also reports that 4.1 million workers quit their jobs voluntarily in September, down slightly from 4.2 million in the previous month.

Get more details on the latest hiring trends.

Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report presents up-to-date information on hiring trends and in-demand roles for several key industries, including finance and accounting, healthcare, human resources, technology, and marketing and creative. Our latest issue provides data on local hiring and remote job trends in the United States, employers’ retention concerns, and the top strategies many companies are applying to hold on to valued employees in today’s competitive hiring environment.

Read the Demand for Skilled Talent report now on our website.