The October Employment Situation issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics brought signs of renewed hope to the economy after a slow few months of growth. Employers added 531,000 jobs in October, primarily in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Additionally, unemployment dropped to 4.6% — continuing on the downward trend we’ve seen since April of 2020.
Another positive: hiring figures for August and September were revised upward by 235,000 jobs, bringing the three-month average for job growth to 442,000.
As we look forward to the holiday season and pandemic fears continue to ease, we’re likely to see continued growth throughout the year. And with 4.2 million fewer jobs than before the start of the pandemic, we still have a ways to go — but the overwhelmingly positive report has us heading in the right direction.
However, we aren’t out of the woods yet. Competition for talent is only going to heat up. The holidays drive more demand, and companies like Amazon are able to attract talent through means that smaller organizations can’t always compete with. Additionally, the applicant pool remains smaller than the pre-pandemic level. The workforce participation rate is lingering at 2 percentage points below