The economy added 531,000 jobs in October, blowing past economists’ predictions of 450,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent.
Friday’s release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics followed a disappointing September report in which a mere 194,000 jobs were added, compared to the half million expected by economists.
“Although the past month has been turbulent with uncertainty around Covid-19 variants, rising inflation, a disappointing GDP number and the ongoing supply chain crisis, it’s encouraging that employment rates are creeping towards normal levels,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group.
Labor market experts had been projecting a rebound for October’s numbers, based on falling Covid-19 cases in much of the country and increases in so-called “high frequency” metrics like airport passenger traffic and restaurant reservations. A robust private-sector jobs report from payroll processor ADP showed October job growth of 571,000 — a better-than-anticipated figure, driven by the addition of 185,000 leisure and hospitality jobs.