U.S. employers expanded payrolls by 150,000 jobs last month, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That figure is below many analysts’ projections of between 170,000 and 180,000 jobs. The October jobs report also notes that employers in the U.S. added 101,000 fewer jobs than previously reported for August and September combined.
Employers in private education and health services reported robust payroll expansion last month, adding 89,000 jobs. The government sector also experienced solid job growth, with 51,000 jobs added. The BLS reports that these industries saw notable job gains in October as well: Construction: 23,000 jobs added Leisure and hospitality: 19,000 jobs added Professional and business services: 15,000 jobs added, including 6,600 positions in temporary help services Wholesale trade: 9,400 jobs added Some industries experienced significant payroll contraction in October, including manufacturing. Employment in that sector decreased by 35,000 in October, reflecting a decline of 33,000 in motor vehicles and parts that was largely due to strike activity, according to the BLS.
The October jobs report shows that the national unemployment rate was 3.9% last month, up from 3.8% in September. The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older — the professionals most highly sought-after by many employers — held steady at 2.1%.
According to separate data from the BLS, 9.6 million jobs in the United States were waiting to be staffed at the end of September. That figure is unchanged from August. Meanwhile, quits increased slightly to 3.7 million in September, up from 3.6 million in the prior month. This suggests that many professionals remain optimistic about their job prospects. And additional data from Robert Half fortifies that theory: In a recent survey, 25% of U.S. workers said they are actively seeking a new role, while 24% reported that they plan to launch a job search by year-end. See more results from Robert Half’s hiring and employment trends survey.
The 2024 Salary Guide From Robert Half features exclusive data and input from employers and workers, and from our recruiters who staff tens of thousands of jobs each year. It’s designed to be a go-to resource on the latest hiring and compensation trends for both employers and job seekers. Even better: Our guide is free, and you can view it right now on our website. Read the 2024 Salary Guide.
To learn more about what you’ll find inside our latest Salary Guide, see this short video featuring Robert Half Operational President Dawn Fay. Watch BLS video