Friday, November 03, 2017

October Employment Report: 261,000 Jobs Added, 4.1% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 11/03/2017 08:43:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised up from +169,000 to +208,000, and the change for September was revised up from -33,000 to +18,000. With these revisions, employment was 90,000 higher than previously reported.
...
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $26.53, were little changed in October (-1 cent), after rising by 12 cents in September. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 63 cents, or 2.4 percent.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 261 thousand in October (private payrolls increased 252 thousand).

Payrolls for August and September were revised up by a combined 90 thousand.  The upward revision to the September report keeps the record job streak alive!

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In October the year-over-year change was 2.04 million jobs.

The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate decreased in October to 62.7%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio decreased to 60.2% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in October to 4.1%. 

This was below expectations of 323,000 jobs, however the previous two months combined were revised up. The headline jobs number was strong - mostly due to a bounce back from the impact of the hurricanes - and the unemployment rate declined further.  However wages were weak.

I'll have much more later ...