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marketsClosed Nov 5, 2021

Live Blog: October Jobs Report

  • U.S. added 531,000 jobs in October, topping estimates
  • Jobless rate falls to 4.6%; labor participation rate steady
  • Private sector surges; manufacturing doubles from September
  • ‘Goldilocks’ payrolls report unlikely to sway Fed path
Thanks for joining us. Here are five key takeaways from Friday’s U.S. employment report for October:
  • Job creation picked up in October -- exceeding forecasters’ estimates at 531,000 -- following a slowdown in August and September. Figures from both of those months were revised upward, however. Couple that with a tick down in unemployment among steady labor force participation, plus strong wage growth, and you have all of the makings of a solidly better-than-expected report.
  • Leisure and hospitality hiring picked up, but is still below the rates of growth we saw before the delta slowdown. It remains to be seen whether a return to a higher run rate in the months ahead is in the offing, which could add extra juice to coming reports. Wage growth in the sector remains very strong, at 12.4% year-over-year for production and nonsupervisory workers.
  • Prime working-age employment to population posted a solid advance last month, and at this rate will close the gap from its January 2020 peak in about eight months. The October report was uneven however, with White Americans posting a strong advance and Black Americans falling back -- widening the employment gap along racial and ethnic lines.
  • This is exactly the kind of report Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues at the U.S. central bank want to see, minus the aforementioned point on race and ethnicity. They are betting that a mass return to employment will help ease inflation as the supply side of the economy increases its productive capacity and consumers increasingly rotate spending from goods to services.
  • In markets, stock futures edged higher in a sign investors approved of the data. Contracts for the S&P 500 index rose 0.4% in early trading. At the front end, Treasuries rose, with two-year notes outperforming longer-dated ones as the blossoming economy begins to feed off itself -- and move away from fiscal and monetary stimulus.