Economy Added 204,000 Jobs In October; Unemployment Rose To 7.3 Percent


The economy added 204,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 125,000 jobs to be added.

Among the unemployed, 448,000 workers reported being on temporary layoff, likely reflecting furloughs from the government shutdown.

Given that the government was shut down from October 1 to October 16, many federal workers were furloughed during the month and that has affected today’s numbers. The household survey reported those workers as unemployed, whether or not they are now back at work. The establishment survey of businesses, however, counted them as employed. As Catherine Rampell explains at the New York Times, this should increase the unemployment rate but not directly lower the payroll job growth numbers.

Revisions for past months added 64,000 more jobs than had previously expected.

Service sector industries added a big portion of the jobs, with leisure and hospitality gaining 53,000 and retail adding 44,000 for a combined 97,000 out of the total. Within that, employment in restaurants and drinking places added 29,000 jobs.

The public sector lost 8,000 jobs, with a 12,000 loss at the federal level. Over the past 12 months, federal government employment has decreased by 94,000.