Headline RoundupNovember 4th, 2022

US Adds 261,000 Jobs in October, Moderate but More Than Expected

AllSides Summary

The U.S. added 261,000 jobs in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The civilian unemployment rate ticked up from 3.5% in September to 3.7% in October. 

Key Quotes: “Notable job gains occurred in health care, professional and technical services, and manufacturing,” the BLS report explained. The report also said Hurricane Ian, which killed over 130 people as it hit Florida and South Carolina, “had no discernible effect on the national employment and unemployment data for October.” A separate report noted that productivity increased 0.3% in the third quarter of 2022 — but remained lower than it was one year ago.

For Context: The job gains were higher than expected but still moderate compared to September’s 263,000 new jobs. Employment has been a major factor in the Federal Reserve’s evaluation of the economy, as it tries to tackle persistent high inflation by slowing down economic activity without triggering a recession. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage sometimes differed in its analysis of the job numbers. Fox Business (Lean Right bias) called them “solid,” making the “Fed's inflation fight harder,” but Reuters (Center bias) emphasized that the numbers were the “smallest in nearly two years,” which it said suggested “some loosening in labor market conditions” and could “allow the Federal Reserve to shift towards smaller interest rates increases.”

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