United States Unemployment

United States

Payrolls growth accelerates unexpectedly, unemployment rises slightly

Non-farm payrolls grew by 204,000 in October, which was well above September's revised increase of 163,000 (previously reported: 148,000). The reading overshot market expectations of an increase of just 120,000 payrolls.

The private sector is still almost entirely responsible for new hiring, having added 212,000 jobs in October. The largest gains were registered in leisure and hospitality, professional and technical services, and in manufacturing. Meanwhile, the public sector lost 8,000 jobs.

The U.S. economy has recovered 7.2 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough in the labor market crisis. The economy still has roughly 1.5 million fewer jobs than it had during the January 2008 peak, despite the ongoing improvement over the past three years.

The unemployment rate - derived from a different survey - inched up from 7.2% in September to 7.3% in October. The reading, which was in line with market expectations, interrupted the downward trend that has been recorded over the past few months.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 7.5% this year, which is unchanged over last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 6.9%, which is also unchanged compared to last month's forecast.

Author:, Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment October 2013

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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