U.S. hiring rebounded in October, with 531,000 jobs added
America’s employers stepped up their hiring in October, adding a solid 531,000 jobs, the most since July and a sign that the recovery from the pandemic recession may be overcoming a virus-induced slowdown.
Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month, from 4.8% in September. That is a comparatively low level but still well above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%.
The economy’s emergence from the pandemic, by most measures, remains on course. Services companies in such areas as retail, banks and warehousing have reported a sharp jump in sales. More Americans bought new homes last month. And consumer confidence rose in October.
Still, the recovery would gain strength from a sustained acceleration in hiring. The economy grew at a healthy 6.5% annual rate in the first half of the year as vaccinations spread and Americans showed themselves more willing to travel, shop, eat out and attend entertainment events. Yet the delta variant held economic growth in the July-September quarter to just a 2% annual rate and sharply slowed hiring.
Recent economic gauges have cast a hopeful picture. After several rounds of stimulus checks and other government support payments, Americans as a whole have amassed about $2.5 trillion more in savings than they had before the pandemic. As that money is spent, it will likely fuel further economic activity.