United States Unemployment October 2016

United States

United States: Employers add modest number of jobs in October

November 4, 2016

In October, non-farm payrolls grew 161,000. The result came in below September’s upwardly-revised increase of 191,000 (previously reported: +156,000). It did not meet market expectations that 173,000 new jobs would be created and represented the weakest figure in five months.

Despite the slowdown, October’s print was still solid thanks to a meaningful contribution from the private sector, which added 142,000 new jobs. In addition, the public sector created 19,000 new jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment growth has averaged 181,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. In October, employment continued to trend up in healthcare, professional and business services, and financial activities.”

The unemployment rate, which is derived from a different survey, ticked down from 5.0% in September to 4.9% in October. Labor participation also inched down from 62.9% in September to 62.8% in October.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 4.9% in 2016, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 4.7%, which is also up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate.


Author:, Senior Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart


USA Unemployment October 2016

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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