The latest Employment Situation Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the nation experienced signifigant job growth during the month of October. The overall unemployment rate dropped from 5.1 percent to 5 percent.
Gains seen in a variety of sectors
According to the report, total nonfarm payroll expanded by 271,000 jobs last month, above economists projections for 200,000 new roles. The sector that added the most positions was professional and business services, which increased its workforce by 78,000. About 46,000 of these jobs were in the administrative and support services field, while computer systems design and related services and architectural and engineering services added 10,000 and 8,000 jobs, respectively.
Healthcare expanded by 45,000 positions, many of which were in the ambulatory care services and hospitals. The retail sector created 44,000 jobs, largely due to clothing and automobile retailers. Food and beverage businesses created 42,000 jobs, while the construction industry grew by 31,000 positions.
Some industries that experienced little or no change to their workforces include wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, information, financial activities and government.
Strong report increased likelihood of Federal Reserve rate increase
According to The New York Times, October's report is strong enough that the Federal Reserve could be inspired to raise interest rates in the near future. The news source explained that an unemployment rate of 5 percent is close to what many economists consider "full employment," which is typically accompanied by a Fed evaluation. However, the Fed has treated the post-recession economy with an extremely gentle hand, so rate hikes are not guaranteed despite October's positive showing.
The issue will likely be raised at the Fed's Dec. 15-16 meeting, noted the Times. The quality of November's report will be a major deciding factor.