Unemployment Numbers Strong for October

By Nicholas Zelinsky,
Money and Investing Editor

As October ends, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unloads their statistics for the month on the job market, and all the important information that comes with it. In summary, the economy added 261,000 jobs in the month of October, compared to a bleak 18,000 jobs in the month of September, according to a revised estimate that was released Friday. The original statement released by the BLS stated that they believed employers cut an estimated 33,000 jobs in September. The BLS also revised its estimate of August, having a revised statistic of 39,000 jobs gained.

To Focus on October, the BLS indicated that employment in the food and beverage industry increased rapidly, offsetting a sharp decline in September. However that decline in September was largely attributed to the impact that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey had on the Gulf region, making its temporary nature unsurprising. October also brought job gains in manufacturing, health care, professional, and business services.

In regards to the major storms that the United States suffered through this year, it didn’t completely dismantle the workforce. The storms took a total of 102,000 jobs from the economy in September, but 106,000 were gained back during October. The jobs recovered this way were primarily in the Hospitality industry, which makes sense.

Compared to last month, the unemployment rate was decreased by 0.1 percent, resulting in the 4.1 percent statistic for October. What does that mean for our population? The number of citizens that were unemployed decreased by 281,000 people, bringing the total down to 6.5 million. For the most part, things in the economy have been thriving under President Trump. The unemployment rate since President Trump first took office has declined 0.7 percentage points. Those 0.7 percentage points represent a staggering 1.1 million Americans that are back to work.

The Bureau also released statistics relating to certain demographics. The jobless rate for teenagers (13.7 percent), blacks (7.5 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), Hispanics (4.8 percent), and Adult men (3.8 percent) showed little to no change. The unemployment rate for Whites (3.5 percent) and adult women (3.6 percent) declined throughout the month of October.

Moving away from the jobless market and into the active workforce, the BLS released some statistics related to hours per work week and average hourly earnings. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls didn’t change much during the month of October. The rate fell one cent to $26.53 after a rise of twelve cents in September. Over the past year, the average hourly earnings has risen sixty-three cents, or an increase of 2.4 percent. When it comes to the private-sector production, and also nonsupervisory employees, they didn’t see much of a change either. Their rate fell to $22.22, a one cent difference from September. The nonfarm payroll employment increased by 261,

Major industries including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, warehousing, information, financial activities, construction, and government saw minimal change in the month of October.

For more information, graphs, and details, visit http://www.bls.gov and go to their news release page.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.

Contact Nicholas at


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