In a muted performance, employment in the United States increased by 150,000 in October, less than predicted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate was at 7.9%, unchanged from September’s figure.
Analysts had anticipated an increase to 8% unemployment according to Dow Jones, driven by a recent rise in Covid-19 infections. Consensus expectations had expected US payrolls to expand by 600,000 in the month.
Friday’s report revealed the US services sector saw increases of 1 million jobs, while the goods-producing sector added a further 70,000 positions. Construction, manufacturing, finance and information technology led this increase.
Leisure and hospitality – easily the most impacted industry due to the pandemic – saw employment rise by 278,000 in October.
The average workweek length rose to 34.7 hours from 34.5 in September, while average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents to $29.57.
Industrial Production had showed an increase in October according to the Federal Reserve; however, this increase was lower than expected due to a decline in motor vehicle production.
The subdued jobs report signals a tight labour market. Businesses are still hopeful that the government will deliver an additional stimulus package that could help support the US labour market. As the overall labour market improvement has stalled for many Americans, the urgent need for additional financial support and the terms and conditions on which it will be given remain uncertain.