Employment Rose by 150K in October, Unemployment Little Changed

Washington, DC, November 3, 2023-Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 150,000 in October, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

Job gains occurred in healthcare, government, and social assistance. Employment declined in manufacturing due to strike activity.

“Forecasters predicted 2023 would be a recession year in the U.S., as Americans faced higher borrowing costs. The Fed aggressively raised interest rates, reaching a 22-year high in July, to cool the economy and curb inflation.

“Instead, the economy has been solid, even picking up in recent months. Gross domestic product grew in the third quarter at the fastest rate since 2021, propelled by robust consumer spending.

“One reason for the economy’s resilience has been the strong labor market, which has kept creating jobs despite higher borrowing costs and a volatile global situation with wars in Europe and the Middle East. That allowed Americans to keep up their spending.

“Forecasters in a Journal survey and at the Fed now say they see the economy avoiding a recession and gradually slowing to a pace that keeps inflation under control.”