U.S. Employment Jumps More Than Expected, Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.9%

Employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of October, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 638,000 jobs in October after surging up by a revised 672,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 600,000 jobs compared to the addition of 661,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The stronger than expected job growth came as notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction more than offset a steep drop in government employment.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in October from 7.9 percent in September. The unemployment rate was expected to slip to 7.7 percent.

The notable decrease in the unemployment rate came as the household survey showed employment spiked by 2.24 million in October, while the labor force grew by 724,000 persons.

“While the drop in unemployment was again mainly driven by temporarily laid-off workers returning to their old jobs, the number of permanent job losers also fell back slightly,” said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, “That could be a crucial sign that the longer-term damage from the pandemic will not prove as severe as many had feared.”

The Labor Department also said average hourly employee earnings crept up by $0.04 or 0.1 percent to $29.50 in October.

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